Atlanta, GA — Looking to break a five-game losing streak, the Dallas Wings came out with a hungry mindset and paired it with high energy to dictate the first half, however, the Atlanta Dream came out a new team in the second half and was able to dig out a win, 93-88.
"I thought it was a very good basketball game especially after we had a struggle up in Minnesota," said Head Coach, Michael Cooper. "Again, these last three games we wanted to go 2-3 since the week before we didn't do as well.
"Some other players got to step up. Reshanda Gray had a great effort filling, and now we get a good breather. We'll get a chance to get a refresher and be healthy."
Angel McCoughtry was absent from the Dream's starting lineup the first five minutes of the game, but the tempo did not let up, as the rookie, Bria Holmes, fearlessly stepped up big time to temporarily fill in her shoes.
Dallas' key player, Skylar Diggins, went on a scoring rampage with 15 points alone in the first quarter, but Reshanda Gray attacked back by being dangerous in the paint to keep Atlanta in the game.
"First off you have to give credit to Atlanta. They're a physical team, and they protected their home court," said Skylar Diggins. "For us, this is not the way we wanted to go out into the Olympic break.
"We've lost six straight, two in overtime, and four under five points. For us, it's about finishing games. Unfortunately for us, our trend is falling behind by double-digits and burning energy trying to get back into games."
The Dream were able to stick to a solid man-to-man defense, but the Wings relentlessly found countless opportunities to attack and get some free shots at the line to get their offense going.
Close and steady behind Dallas, Atlanta was able to achieve their first lead change of the game, as McCoughtry ripped down the court for a fast-break layup, 42-40.
Having the best game of her season, Gray was very active underneath the basket and dominated the paint. Her name was heard all night as she continued to get the crowd going. In the third quarter, she got off back-to-back AND 1 opportunities, which gave her 22 points and sent Dallas back to the drawing boards.
"Going into the break, we'll have a month of no basketball, so we wanted to go out and get a good win," said Gray. "I have to give credit to my teammates because they were a large part of tonight's success."
Taking over the third quarter, 78-70, Atlanta was a more physical team that limited Diggins' game and maintained form.
Plenette Pierson was able to hit a clutch three at the top of the key that tied up the score 83-83, but the Dream continued to press the gas until the clock ticked out.
The Wings tried to catch up with the Dream in the last few minutes by fouling to cut down time, but Layshia Clarendon was clutch at the line, shooting 80%.
Going into the Olympic Break, Atlanta can rest easy with a win underneath their belt.