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Atlanta, Ga– The combination of Brianna Stewart and Sue Bird for the Seattle Storm (14-5) was too much for the Atlanta Dream (8-9) as they came out victorious 95-86.
It was very physical in the beginning with both team hitting the floor constantly. The Dream started quickly hitting their first 3-4 shots but the defense of Seattle and a balance scoring attack helped them take the lead.
Atlanta got cold only shooting 30% from the field while the Storm shot 52.6% including seven assists. This helped them jump out to a 23-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.
After two straight baskets to start the second quarter for Seattle to push the lead to 12, Atlanta got hot hitting on four shots in a row lead by Brittney Sykes which capped a 9-2 run. Sykes scored five straight points and assisted on another.
With no movement by Atlanta on offensive, Seattle was able to take advantage by getting rebounds which lead to fast breaks. Stewart jumpstarted a 16-2 run scoring nine of her first half 15 points during that span.
Seattle lead catapulted to a 53-34 advantage. Bird scored 10 point and dished six assist. Tiffany Hayes and Sykes each had eight points for the Dream.
In the second half, Atlanta came out aggressive not settling for jumpers. They got to the foul line double the time they did in the first half.
After cutting into the lead with a mini 8-3 run, Seattle stayed poised and stop the bleeding with Stewart hitting a key jumper.
The Dream got on a roll once again with a 11-2 run that cut the lead to six until Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis hit a three-pointer with 0.3 left in the third quarter.
Seattle push the lead back to 12 from the help of Bird defense, scoring and leadership in the fourth. Atlanta got it down to eight but that was the closest they got.