Dream vs. Mystics final score: Atlanta has a dominant second half, gets a 86-73 victory

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Dream (12-5) continues to show why they are the team to beat in the East after an 86-73 win over the Washington Mystics (7-12) at Phillips Arena.

The Dream beat the Mystics. That's not a surprise.

But what was a surprise was that the reserves as opposed to the starters were the ones who made a key 11-2 run in the last 3 minutes and 41 seconds to close the third quarter. That was the key run to locking up this game. After Ivory Latta made two free throws to give the Mystics a 56-55 lead, Aneika Henry made a putback layup after an offensive rebound (it was the second in a row).

After about a minute and a half where neither team was able to get a score, Dream veteran forward Swin Cash made a layup, and then the baskets started falling, where Tiffany Hayes made a shot, then Henry made another layup from an offensive rebound she got, and then Shoni Schimmel made a three near the buzzer. The Mystics made one more free throw but didn't score a single field goal until Latta made a basket with 8:59 left in the fourth. Ultimately, the game was 66-57 Dream, to start the fourth quarter.

Emma Meesseman scored 10 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter and got the Mystics to within five points with 5:39 left to make the score 70-65. But at this point, the Dream's starting post players: Sancho Lyttle and Erika de Souza took it from there, and that was the final nail in the coffin.

In the first half of the game, both teams were tied 40-all, with the Mystics making 50% of their shots, while the Dream made 41.7% of theirs. That certainly gave some promise to D.C. that this game was winnable. But the Mystics committed nine turnovers in the second half, which led to 11 points. Some of the most significant points at that. Schimmel's three pointer at the end of the third quarter came off of a bad pass by Latta.

The Dream will play the Connecticut Sun this Tuesday, July 8 at McCamish Pavilion, or Georgia Tech's basketball arena. The Washington Mystics will continue their five-game road trip on Wednesday to play the Chicago Sky in a matinee game.

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