ATLANTA — The Atlanta Dream brought the stars out on Saturday, as legendary Atlanta rappers T.I. And, Bone Crusher sat courtside as well as former Atlanta Hawk Dikembe Mutombo. However, there was one superstar that made a significant difference on the court, and that was Dallas Wings’ guard Skylar Diggins-Smith. Diggins-Smith scored a game-high 24 points and led the Wings to a 78-70 victory over the Dream at the McCamish Pavillion.
While the Dream had a legitimate opportunity to tie the game and perhaps take the lead in the final two minutes, Diggins-Smith nailed back-to-back three-pointers and waved goodbye to the home crowd to give the Dream (1-2) their second loss of the season. The Wings (2-1) are now one game above .500 and have handed the Dream both their losses of the year, thus far.
The Dream, led by forward Angel McCoughtry’s 19 points, failed to convert easy layups at the rim and it ultimately led to their defeat.
“We had an open layup, an offensive rebound a put-back layup, another layup, so we missed three point-blank uncontested layups on the same possession that put us in the position to potentially take the lead,” said first-year head coach Nicki Collen about her team’s inability to take advantage of prime opportunities in crucial moments of the game.
Collen was accurate with her statements. The Dream shot a woeful 28 percent from the floor and 27 percent from three-point range. Collen said that she is looking for her team to shoot better as a team throughout the season. She also mentioned that she was content with how her team played defensively. She has a point. The Wings also had a terrible night shooting the ball, as they shot only 38 percent from the floor and 29 percent from three.
It is worth mentioning, though that the Dream forced the Wings to commit 24 points and they scored 19 points from those mistakes.
They will need to continue their defensive efforts being that they welcome the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the McCamish Pavilion. Also, let’s not forget, they must improve their offensive efficiency, too.
By: Dimitri Chin