Down by as many as 13 points and as close as three points at one juncture of the fourth quarter, the Atlanta Dream (2-3) lost their home opener and second game of the season to Dallas in as many weeks, 78-70 on Saturday night.
A three-pointer in transition by Dallas forward Kaela Davis put the Atlanta Dream down by 10 points midway through the second quarter of their home opener on Saturday night. The Dream came into the game 2-2 after starting the season on a four-game road swing. A 6-0 run capped by a three-pointer by Renee Montgomery would cut the Dallas lead to 30-25, but only for a few minutes before Dallas extended the lead back to double-figures and finally to eight points, 39-31, at halftime.
It didn’t help that Dream mainstays Angel McCoughtry and Tiffany Hayes were a combined 3-16 from the field and 1-7 from behimnd the three-point line. Only four Dream players scored at halftime compared to Dallas who had eight of their nine players score.
The second half would have Dream first-year head coach Nicki Collen stick with both Hayes and McCoughtry despite their rough starts and be rewarded with a second half cxomeback that had the Dream within two points early in the fourth quarter following a drive and score by Hayes. A three-pointer by McCoughtry kept the Dream close at 60-57 with 7:10 remaining in the game.
Sloppy play during the fourth quarter, Hayes earned a technical foul after scoring a key basket and LayShia Clarendon nearly earned a flagrant foul after shoving Wings forward Karima Kelly on a fast break, the play was ultimately ruled a common foul.
Dallas center Liz Cambage picked up two quick fouls during the first quarter but came back to make an impact late inb the fourth quarter with four points of the Wings 11-5 run that helped put them ahead 71-62 with less than two minutes to play. Late Three-pointers from Kelly and Skylar Diggins-Smith helped Dallas get their double-digit lead back. A three-pointer off the glass at the top of the key from Renee Montgomery helped keep things interesting for the Dream and their fans.
MCoughtry led the Dream in scoring with 17 points followed by Hayes with 14. Diggins-Smith led all scorers with 24 points with Cambage securing another double-figuring scoring game against Atlanta with 14 points.
The Dream will next host the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday at 7 p.m.