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Dream use balanced attack to roll past Storm

Oct 10, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; A view of the offical game ball during the second half of game one of the 2021 WNBA Finals between the Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Cheyenne Parker’s game-high 21 points led five players in double figures as the Atlanta Dream scored a key victory Sunday with a 90-76 stomping of the Seattle Storm at College Park, Ga.

In improving to 10-11 on the year, Atlanta also got 16 points from rookie Rhyne Howard, plus 13 off the bench from Aari McDonald and AD Durr. Tiffany Hayes contributed 10 points for the Dream, which shot 47.1 percent from the field and dominated the boards 44-30.

Breanna Stewart had 19 points for Seattle (13-8) but made just 5 of 14 shots. The Storm made only 34.9 percent of their field goals and were 9 of 32 (28.1 percent) from 3-point range.

It was Atlanta’s first victory over a team with a winning record this season and it was one-sided in the second half. The Dream owned a 24-point lead on two occasions in the fourth quarter. Seattle had a 10-2 spurt over the game’s final 2:29 to close the final margin.

Storm point guard Sue Bird, who is retiring at the end of the season, scored six points on 2-of-7 shooting in her final trip to Atlanta.

Atlanta wasted little time putting its stamp on this game. It established an 18-8 lead just over 4 1/2 minutes into the game when Hayes drove for a layup, and extended the margin to 32-18 after one quarter, hitting 13 of 17 shots from the field.

The advantage reached 41-25 when Hayes drove the lane for a bucket with 5:43 left in the first half before Seattle made its one meaningful run. It finished the half with an 11-2 spurt, Stewart’s two foul shots with 25.2 seconds remaining pulling the Storm within 46-41 at intermission.

But the Dream owned the third period, regaining a double-figure lead with 3:11 on the clock when Parker hit two foul shots. The margin grew to 72-54 when McDonald converted a short floater with 3.8 seconds left.

–Field Level Media