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Dream lose double-digit lead, fall to Mercury

The Atlanta Dream held a double-digit lead at halftime, but the Phoenix Mercury were able to wear down the Dream, and pull out the victory.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Mercury (9-5) capitalized on 27 free throws and a third-quarter surge to win their sixth straight game, an 80-71 home win against the Atlanta Dream.

The Mercury only attempted five three-pointers the entire game, but took advantage of 22 points each from Brittany Griner and Candice Dupree.

The Dream had four players score double-digits, led by Tiffany Hayes' 19 points. Angel McCoughtry, the team's leading scorer, even though she had an off game extended her streak of double-doubles; she scored a season-low 11 points.

The game started off with the defending WNBA champion Mercury leading the charge in the first quarter. They would lead the Dream 24-18, with Dupree, Griner and DeWanna Bonner responsible for all the team's scoring. Phoenix shot 45% compared to Atlanta's 26%.

In the second quarter, the Dream started to get back to their high-octane offense, with All-Star guard Shoni Schimmel leading the attack. Schimmel made two of the team's four three-pointers in the quarter, helping the Dream outscore the Mercury 30-14. The Dream made 10 three-pointers in the first half; with the Mercury attempting none as the Dream went into halftime with a 48-38 lead.

After halftime, Griner and the Mercury came back to life. Griner would score eight of the team's 22 points in taking back the lead going into the final quarter, 60-58. It originally ended tied at 60, but an Erika de Souza layup with 2:42 in the third was reversed due to a shot clock violation.

The Mercury would eventually put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. Bonner scored 10 of her 18 points in the fourth, and the Dream only mustered 13 points. Hayes, though she led the team in scoring, would foul out with 1:14 left in the game. This was the third straight game in which Hayes has fouled out.

Phoenix has now won six a row, improving their home record to 6-1. Atlanta dropped the first game of six they have on the road, dropping their overall record to 6-8.