The Dream started the scoring with a quick turnaround jumper by Elizabeth Williams, but the Lynx made themselves known building a 15 point lead in the first half. For all intent and purposes, it appeared to be a blowout. Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles were playing at turbo speed while everybody else was in cruise control. They simply dominated the paint outscoring the Dream on easy shots 26-14.
Atlanta suffered through scoring droughts at one point shooting 1-7 while the Lynx went 4-5
Arguably Fowles “the WNBA face of the Jordan Brand” is the best female player on the planet she displayed every reason for the title by scoring 21 points at the half. It doesn’t take a blind man long to see why the Minnesota Lynx are in first place. Admirably the Dream chipped away to make it a respectful game by half time reducing their lead to six (43-49).
Head Coach Michael Cooper must have spoken in tounges for his half time speech because the Dream came out blazing hot nailing three point shots Lyshia Clarendon started the business above the right elbow. Desiring not to be out done Tiffany Hayes got in on the action with another three pointer, before you knew it the score was 54-51 and the Dream was threatening to get within one point on a missed jumper by Hayes. Minnesota was stagnated shooting 0-4 in a two-minute drought thanks to the Dreams defensive effort; momentum was definitely in their favor. On a dead ringer, Hayes shot another targeted three pointer to take the lead for the Dream 58-57 at the 4:07 mark. Immediately Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve called a timeout to have a strategic meeting to figure out what happened to her fifteen point lead.
Sylvia Fowles picked up her fourth foul with 2:13 remaining the third quarter. The Dream was in the midst of an upset. Unfortunately, there was another quarter of basketball. The Lynx came from under their spell and re
turned to form outpacing the Dream down the stretch to clinch the season sweep 81-72. They are now 21-3 on the season and have beaten them nine straight times.Sylvia Fowles led the way with 27 points shooting an efficient 7 of 8 from the field and 13-16 from the free throw line. She also grabbed 13 rebounds and had four block shots. Give Atlanta credit they shut her down in the second half.
Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve said
“Atlanta utilized more zone and neutralized Sylvia (Fowles) better. We were a little more stagnant in our attack, not good shots, and our defense wasn’t as good, especially in the third quarter. We cleaned it up in the fourth quarter. We kept them off the foul line and out of the paint. Anytime you play Atlanta those two areas are huge. We kept them sort of out of transition, but they still got 14 points in fast break points. We met a lot of our goals.” The side kick Maya Moore finished with 16 points earning her twenty-first double-figure scoring performance of the season. With the loss, the Atlanta Dream are now 10-16 on the season. They have lost the last five in a row.
Bria Holmes On the five-game slump
“I think we just need to stay mentally tough going into the fourth quarter. Just staying together as one. Most of the games we lost have been in the fourth quarter. We just need to stay together.”
Elizabeth Williams recorded her fourth double-double of the season (16 points, 11 rebounds to lead the Dream. Lyshia Clarendon and Tiffany Hayes pitched in 13 points each, but the trio couldn’t clinch the upset. In crunch time (fourth quarter) the Lynx out scored the Dream 15-8 to pull out of the ATL with a victory 81-72. When Michael Cooper was asked about the team’s energy, he said “This team really plays a lot on the crowd. But the team had to create their own excitement, and tonight we didn’t really get it going.”
Next, up for the Dream NY Liberty, Friday Night back at McCamish Pavilion ATL come out and bring the Dream some energy