After putting the heavy weight champs first ranked Minnesota Lynx on the ropes Tuesday night, the Dream returned to McCamish Arena looking to snap their five game skid. According to the Tale of the Tape, the Dream averages 80.1 points per game and NY Liberty averages 79.7 points per game. It’s going to go down to the wire. But on the other side of the data, the Dream allows their opponents to score 82.2 points per game while NY allows only 80. On the one hand, Atlanta should have won it by one on the other they should lose it by two. Then you have to play the game to get the rest of the story.
The dream started out with 2 three pointers and a little aggressive play but was mild the rest of the first quarter. Going 1 out of 8 but stole the momentum with a much need jumper by Boyette for her first points of the game. Liberty stepped out to 13 point lead by dominating in the paint (12-8) on both rebounds (10-4) and points in the paint. It’s funny how those two things go hand in hand. At the end of the first quarter (28-17) you could tell it was going to be one of those nights for the dream. By halftime NY Liberty had experienced a 19 point lead by continuing their dominance in the paint outscoring the Dream to earn a half time score of 47-34.
During the second half, the fans were asked to clap their Thunder Sticks to inspire the Dream. It worked the tone of the game increased as the action went from end to end on the floor. There’s something about this team, they start slow, go into long droughts then turn up the juice. Unfortunately, they dig themselves such a deep hole to the point they can’t recover and win.
Guard Layshia Clarendon
On the near comeback
“That was classic us. We wait until the very end to fight. We’ve got to start fighting in the first quarter, but we wait until the second half to start fighting like that and run out of time.”
The last two games coming back from 15 down to the Lynx to take the lead but ran out of gas. Tonight they came from 19 points down to get back to within one on a deadly 3 point shot by Rookie of the Year candidate Britteny Sykes to make the score 74-75 with 46.7 remaining. Head Coach Bill Laimbeer, the original Bad Boy, blew his stack. Visibly you can see him demanding the troop’s rally. Being an old Laker fan, it reminded me of the NBA Wars of old between the Lakers and the Pistons, after all, it’s said and done it Coop a Loop vs. Laimbeer. The firey guy came out and willed his team to victory 83-77.
Head Coach Bill Laimbeer
On playing a 40-minute game:
“They’re going to make runs, but they’re also going to give up runs. It was imperative that we keep our concentration for 40 minutes. As long as we did that, then we had a good chance to win. They made their run in the fourth quarter; I’ll give them credit. They made some plays, we turned the ball over, and that gave them some opportunities. But we made the big plays down the stretch.”
Shavonta Zellous lead the Liberty with 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Last years WNBA leading scorer Tina Charles chipped in 15 points, 8 rebounds. In all, they had four players in double figures. Sugar Rodgers who has perhaps the coolest name in the WNBA scored 12 points, and B Hartley added 10.
The Dream has flashes of greatness when they figure out how to put it together for forty minutes this team will be something to reckon with. Until then they are on a six game losing streak and the playoffs are getting dim.
Interesting Facts of the Game
- The Liberty shot 21-of-22 at the free-throw line (.955)
- Biggest of the game was 19 by the Liberty
- Liberty outscored the Dream 24-6 in first points in the paint that was the difference in the game
- In ATL WOOD you never know which star will be in the building
@atlantadream, #truetoatlanta, @nyliberty, #ShowUp, #wnba,