- By JuliaKate E. Culpepper The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
With a 87-74 win Sunday over the Seattle Storm, the Atlanta Dream set a franchise record of seven-straight wins.
Less than one year after totaling 12 wins and missing the playoffs, the Dream (15-9) sit in first place in the Eastern Conference, one game ahead of the Washington Mystics.
“That was a great win,” coach Nicki Collen said after the game. “I really told our team that I thought from start to finish, it was our most complete game on both sides of the ball. I thought we had a few fluctuations offensively, but I thought our defense was solid from the start.”
Dream center Elizabeth Williams was one of three Dream players to score in double-digits during Sunday’s win. Williams recorded a season-high of 17 points against the Storm, scoring in double digits for the seventh time this season.
All-Star Angel McCoughtry and Tiffany Hayes also scored in double digits in the win, accounting for 16 points apiece.
The Dream, who never trailed after 4:36 in the first quarter, shot 49.3 percent from the field Sunday, which was enough to overcome a 31-point performance by Storm forward Breanna Stewart.
“I think Atlanta came out and they hit us and they hit us all game,” Stewart said.
“Obviously, they’re in a really good stretch right now and it just seems like we couldn’t get to the level of intensity that they’re playing.”
The Storm (18-7) shot 40.8 percent from the field and 32.1 beyond the arc with All-Star Sue Bird scoring 12 points and shooting 4-of-6 from the 3-point line.
McCoughtry, who has played for the Dream all nine seasons of her WNBA career, sees something special in this Dream team under Collen.
"I think every season we're going to say we want to win a championship. Every team is going to say that,” McCoughtry said after the game. “I think with us, we're learning ourselves a lot better. We're following the game plan a lot better than earlier in the season, and I think we're still not there yet.
“That's the great thing about this team. We have the opportunity to do some really great things. We just broke so many records. I've been here nine years and we've never broken records like this."
The Dream look to extend their win-streak to eight games at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday as they travel to play the Los Angeles Sparks.