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Atlanta- The Atlanta Dream battled back from a nine point deficit but come up short 75-71 against The Chicago Sky.
The Dream opened up with an 8-0 run after allowing the first two points to the Sky. It was sparked by heavy pressure that caused four quick fast break points.
Atlanta jumped out to a 15-5 lead courtesy of Tiffany Hayes who hit a 3-pointer and scored after a uncontested layup. Hayes ended up with eight points in the first quarter that lead the Dream to a 24-14 first quarter lead.
The Dream shot 57% from the field and held Chicago to 27%. With feisty defense, it prompted Atlanta to set up quickly to get easy points.
In the second quarter, the offense stalled with sloppy play. After a blazing hot start, Atlanta shot 33% from the field which allowed the Sky to get back in the game. Chicago was lead by forward Stephanie Dolson’s nine points in the half and cut the deficit 32-28 at halftime. Forward Dimiris Dontas lead Atlanta with 11.
“We just got mentally fatigued on our part,” stated Dream’s coach Michael Cooper
The opening of the third quarter, Atlanta came out aggressive making sharp passes and converting on easy baskets but the Sky was able to tie the game 44-44 midway through the third quarter behind guard Cappie Pondexter scoring.
The Sky took the lead after a 20 ft jumper by guard Tamera Young. Young had 11 points in the third to help boost the Sky to a 56-50 lead heading into the 4th quarter.
Dream’s forward Bria Holmes started to heat up and start a mini surge tying the game but the Sky’s offense was too much matching them point for point.
Center Elizabeth Williams completed a layup plus the foul to cut the lead 65-63 with 3:48 left in the game.
Down by nine under a minute left, the Dream got two 3-pointers from Holmes and Layshia Clarendon to cut the lead 74-71 with 35 seconds left.
After an airball by the Dream, Dolson sealed the game by hitting a free throw for Chicago to give them the 75-71 win. Dolson was the leading scorer for the Sky adding 23 points with eight rebounds. Pondexter chipped in 20 points.
Clarendon lead the Dream with 17 points and nine assist. Hays added 17 points as well.