The Atlanta Dream (12-9) have won their fourth straight game, defeating the Washington Mystics (13-9) 80-77. Washington built an early lead hitting jump shots and leaning on their leading scorer Elena Delle Donne. The 6’5″ sharpshooter scored nine points pacing the Mystics to a 26-15 first quarter lead.
The Dream started forcing their way to the rim and subsequently the free throw line to change the tide in the second quarter. The Dream outscored Washington 22-10 in the period. They made an effort to get to the basket and they stayed away from long jumpers unless open. Tiffany Hayes finished the half with four points but made a bunch of passes to her teammates off of dribble drives.
Their defense had a hand in the face of every shooter and made all of Washington’s shots difficult. They even forced two shot clock violations in the last two minutes of the half. Atlanta turned a nine point deficit into a one point half time lead.
The third quarter was a back and forth slugfest. Atlanta went up by as many as five points and Washington took a one point lead on several occasions. Both teams scored 22 points and Atlanta kept a one point lead going into the fourth 59-58.
In the fourth quarter Brittney Sykes started feeling it. She scored 12 of her 17 points in the quarter hitting a couple of threes in the process. The Dream opened up a ten point lead, but Washington made it very interesting at the end. They got to within one point a couple of times’ but ultimately couldn’t take the lead.
Delle Donne finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead Washington.
Sykes led the Dream with 17 points.
Atlanta outscored Washington 28-18 in the paint.
The Dream’s next game is in Connecticut versus the Sun in tomorrow.