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Dream out to sustain momentum vs. Lynx

Sportsnaut
Oct 2, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; The shoes of Seattle Storm guard Jordin Canada (21) with the WNBA logo during game 1 of the WNBA finals against the Las Vegas Aces at IMG Academy. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Dream are coming off one of their largest victories in franchise history as they head into Wednesday’s home game against the injury-plagued Minnesota Lynx.

Kristy Wallace’s 17 points led five Atlanta players scoring in double figures Sunday in the Dream’s 82-54 win over the visiting Phoenix Mercury.

The 28-point margin of victory was Atlanta’s largest since beating the Los Angeles Sparks by 30 in 2015. It was the Dream’s eighth-largest margin of victory in their 15-year history.

Even with the scoring barrage against Phoenix, Atlanta coach Tanisha Wright said, “I was happy with our defense.”

“I thought we translated what we worked on,” Wright said. “We did a lot of working on ourselves and getting better for ourselves. But I thought we translated from what we worked on against Phoenix to the game time and because of that I think the outcome of it is really good for us.”

Minnesota center Natalie Achonwa (right hamstring strain) and guard Moriah Jefferson (left quadriceps strain) are out indefinitely.

To add more depth, the Lynx signed Elissa Cunane on Monday to a hardship contract. The 6-foot-5 center was the No. 17 overall pick in the 2022 WNBA draft by the Seattle Storm but was waived before the season started. Cunane averaged 14.8 points and 7.9 rebounds over her four-year career at North Carolina State.

Minnesota has lost three of its last four games, including an 85-83 setback at home to the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday.

“Attention to detail – that’s our problem,” Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said as the Lynx (2-7) sit last in the Western Conference. “Pretty simple.”

With their rout of Phoenix, the Dream (5-3) bounced back after consecutive losses to the Washington Mystics.

Erica Wheeler scored 16 points against the Mercury, Cheyenne Parker had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Rhyne Howard had 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field with six assists for Atlanta.

Howard, the WNBA’s No. 1 draft pick, was coming off a scoreless performance on 0-for-9 shooting in a 70-50 loss at Washington. She had scored 21 points in the previous game against the Mystics and has averaged 19.3 points in her seven other WNBA appearances.

Atlanta’s Monique Billings made her return, after missing three games due to health and safety protocol, and had eight rebounds.

–Field Level Media