The Atlanta Dream won their seventh straight game which set a new franchise record. After the afternoon’s domination, they received a standing ovation from the fans at McCamish Pavilion and well they should’ve. They set a franchise record while dominating the No. 1 team in the league by 13 points.
When you live by the three, you die by the three. Everyone knew Seattle would come out dropping bombs from the outside and they did, making four 3-pointers without blinking. But after their hot-streak, they scored just four more the rest of the game.
Out of the 87 points scored, 52 of them were in the paint. Elizabeth Williams scored 17 points, 9 rebounds, and played a big part in the Dream’s big win.
The Dream’s biggest challenge of the night (aside from quelling the 3-point attack) was to contain Seattle’s big names. While they succeeded with Sue Bird (12 points) and Jewell Lloyd (11 points), Breanna Stewart was uncontainable. The standout Center scored a team high 31 points. If that wasn’t enough, she grabbed 8 rebounds and contributed 2 steals and an assist.
The ladies are playing well and peaking at the right team, heading into the latter part of the season. The only thing that shocked me tonight is that Coach Nicki Collen didn’t go to her bench earlier. It wasn’t until later in the game (around the third quarter) that we saw more contribution from the bench. She didn’t see a lot of the floor but I would’ve put Imani McGee-Stafford on Stewart early on. I watched in amazement as this confident center was flying all over the floor to grab loose balls and cruising past defenders for easy buckets. At least with McGee-Stafford’s length should would’ve caused some problems down low.
While Renee Montgomery had an off night with just four points, Angel McCoughtry and Tiffany Hayes shared the lot with 16 points apiece. Alex Bentley finished with nine points while Monique Billings and Jessica Breland both finished with eight.
Everything was clicking for the Dream. They led for the majority of the game and were only outscored by a point and that was at the end of the third quarter (24-23). But a bit of luck never hurts either. Remember that 3-point onslaught I warned of? The Seattle Storm shot 9 of 29 from long distance. Had they made just five more than they did, the Storm would’ve won by a single point, 88-87.
Atlanta should be in high spirits after a convincing win against the top team in the league. The Dream sit in first place in the Eastern Conference standings and are second overall in the league just shy of Seattle. The Dream travel to Los Angeles to face the Sparks Tuesday, July 24. Let’s see how far the streak can go.
Photo: Hakim Wright