Wings come from behind to top Dream in playoff opener

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

Satou Sabally put up 32 points and Arike Ogunbowale added 24 and had a key steal and basket late as the Dallas Wings came from behind to beat the Atlanta Dream 94-82 on Friday in Arlington, Texas, in the opener of a first-round playoff series.

Game 2 of the best-of-three set will be played on Tuesday in Arlington. Game 3, if necessary, is scheduled for Sept. 22 in College Park, Ga.

The Dream led by 20 points early in the second quarter, went into halftime tied, then were up by three after a back-and-forth third period.

The score was 76-76 with 6:36 left in the fourth before Dallas took charge for good, reeling off an 11-4 run punctuated by a steal and layup from Ogunbowale for an 87-80 advantage with 3:02 remaining.

Teaira McCowan added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Wings, who have defeated Atlanta in all four of the teams’ contests this season.

Rhyne Howard scored 36 points for Atlanta, the most ever in an WNBA playoff debut. She hit eight of her 15 3-point attempts. Allisha Gray added 21 points and Cheyenne Parker had 11 for the Dream, who are making their first postseason appearance since 2018.

Howard dominated the first quarter, hitting on eight of her 10 shots from the floor and scoring 19 points as the Dream roared out to a 36-21 lead by period’s end. Sabally’s 13 points in the quarter kept Dallas within striking distance.

The Dream pushed the lead to 41-21 on a pair of free throws by Asia (AD) Durr at the 8:47 mark of the second quarter. That’s when Dallas began to find its stride, producing an 18-2 run capped by Ogunbowale’s steal and layup that cut the deficit to 43-39 with 3:16 to play in the period.

McCown’s three-point play with 0.8 seconds left in the half tied the game at 49 heading to the break.

Howard missed all four of her shots in the second period but still ended up as the top scorers before halftime with 19 points. Gray amassed 16 points over the first two quarters. Sabally had 18 first-half points and Ogunbowale added 15.

–Field Level Media

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