Dream fall to 1-1 with road loss to Mercury

Allisha Gray scored 22 for the Dream. AP file photo

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Allisha Gray scored 22 for the Dream. AP file photo

The Dream could not stop Kahleah Copper, who scored a career-high 38 points for the Mercury in an 88-85 win over Atlanta Saturday night in Phoenix.

The Dream could not hold onto a seven-point fourth-quarter lead.

Copper combined with Sophie Cunningham to score the last 16 points for the Mercury.

Cheyenne Parker-Tyus had 11 points and Allisha Gray 10 in the fourth quarter as the Dream, down 70-60 with 8:43 to play, charged back to lead 81-74 at the 4:11 mark.

Cunningham answered with a 3-pointer and Copper’s four free throws pulled the Mercury within 83-81 with 1 1/2 minutes to play. Following an offensive foul by Tina Charles, Copper found Cunningham on the left side for a 3-pointer and the lead with 1:11 to play. Natasha Cloud then blocked a Rhyne Howard attempt and Copper converted that into a layup for an 86-83 lead at 28.1 seconds.

Parker-Tyus made it a one-point game again but Copper answered and Howard missed a a 3-point try for the tie.

Diana Taurasi had 15 points and Cunningham 10 for the Mercury (1-1), who gave Nate Tibbetts his first win in the WNBA.

Gray finished with 22 points, Howard had 21 and Parker-Tyus 18 for the Dream (1-1).

Phoenix led from the outset, scoring the first seven points and leading 24-15 after one quarter and 43-37 at the half.

Copper and Taurasi combined for 23 points but Howard kept the Dream in it with 17 points, going 4 of 5 on 3-pointers.

Atlanta closed the third quarter with a 7-2 run to clip another point off the Phoenix lead and trailed 65-60 going into the fourth quarter, despite Copper scoring 16 of the 22 Mercury points.