There is no such things as moral victories in the WNBA but if there were then Atlanta's 92-86 loss to San Antonio might be considered as much. For 38 minutes, the Dream looked more like the team that came into this season with all of the high expectations. However, the game slipped away late for Atlanta and sets up a potential must win situation for their next game on Thursday against the New York Liberty.
The Dream led this game 78-71 late in the fourth and was outscored 21-8 over the final moments of the game. Jia Perkins led the way for the Silver Stars with 25 points and eight rebounds. Danielle Adams finished with 19 while Becky Hammon finished with 17 points and six assists.
Coco Miller came off the bench to lead the Dream with 19 points. Angel McCoughtry finished with 15 points and eight rebounds in just under 20 minutes of action. Lindsey Harding finished with 13 points but missed two big free throws late when Atlanta had a chance to tie the game.
A good sign for the Dream was that they were able to out rebound the Silver Stars 45-35 and that fueled their running game early. 18 of Atlanta's 24 fast break points came in the first half. The Dream are clearly at their best when they can get in transition and look for options off of their primary and secondary break. When in the halfcourt, Atlanta turned to Erika de Souza who finished with 11 points and seven rebounds. In the second half, de Souza was held scoreless going 0-7 from the field.
Still Atlanta was able to overcome an early deficit in the third quarter with their bench having a major impact. Armintie Price came off the bench to score nine points and hand out five assists and her energy appeared to infect her teammates at both ends of the floor. Courtney Paris also had a big impact with seven points and 11 rebounds.
The Dream got enough from their role players to win this game but couldn't find the magic from their starters when they had to have it the most. The important thing will be to take the positive from this performance and carry it into the next game. Sometimes even a good team like Atlanta can forget how to win and getting over that isn't always easy.
After the game, coach Meadors pointed out that the team is 1-1 when all of its players were in the lineup and that win was arguably their best showing of the season. Forward Sancho Lyttle will be back with the team soon. The challenge in the mean time is not to fall so far out of the race that they won't have time to get it turned around.
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