It took a well-balanced scoring effort from the Dream to put an end to their two-game losing streak Friday night at Philips Arena.
Three players posted double-digit point totals and two others scored nine as the Dream (3-4) escaped with a 60-57 victory over the San Antonio Silver Stars.
"I thought we seemed to run our offense much better," Dream coach Marynell Meadors said. "We did a better job of screening and coming off of screens looking for shots. I would like for us to get a little more selfish when we get into the paint of not trying to pass the ball to somebody else. Just go ahead and shoot it."
The contest came down to the final possession, and San Antonio (2-4) was unable to get off a shot to force an overtime period.
The final margin was indicative of the game as a whole: a back-and-forth affair that saw 12 ties and 10 lead changes, with the largest margin being a six-point bulge by the Dream in the opening quarter, at 14-8.
The Dream’s leading scorer, Angel McCoughtry, struggled shooting in the first half, shooting 2-of-9 from the field and scoring seven points. But as stars such as McCoughtry are supposed to do, she turned it around in the second half, making nearly half of her shots (4-of-9) to finish with a team-high 16 points.
Guards Lindsey Harding (14 points) and Armintie Price (10 points) joined McCoughtry in double-figures, while forwards Sancho Lyttle and Yelena Leuchanka chipped in nine points apiece. Leuchanka also grabbed a season-high eight rebounds.
Leuchanka’s nine points were the only points the Dream’s bench contributed, a stark contrast to the Silver Stars, who had 20 points from their reserves, with nine each from Jia Perkins and Danielle Adams and two from Shenise Johnson.
The Silver Stars also had to play the last three quarters of the nip-and-tuck contest without their head coach, Dan Hughes. After Adams was whistled for a blocking call at the 8:53 mark of the second quarter, Hughes exploded off the bench to voice his displeasure, which led to his ejection after he was assessed a pair of technical fouls.
Hughes was unsure what he did to warrant being tossed.
"Ask the officials," he said. "I didn't throw me out, so ask them. I didn't swear at the official. I didn't do anything that I am ashamed of."
Meadors, who had Hughes on her staff when she was coach of the Charlotte Sting, was surprised by the eruption, saying it was "uncharacteristic" of her former assistant.
"I'm not going to talk to him tonight, but I'll talk to him tomorrow about it," she said. "I really don't know what happened."
If the outburst of emotion was supposed to fire up his team, the Silver Stars appeared to receive the message. San Antonio played with passion for the remainder of the half to head to the locker room with the score tied at 28-28.
The Dream was able to hold San Antonio’s top offensive weapon, Becky Hammon, to seven points, which tied her season-low set in the Silver Stars’ previous game. The Dream’s defense was not as effective against the Silver Stars’ second-leading scorer, Sophia Young, however, who was the game-high scorer with 21.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.