Atlanta, Ga. – The Sky benefited from a third quarter outbreak Friday night, defeating the Dream 90-82 as the WNBA season resumed following the Olympic break.
With the game knotted at 44 going into halftime, Chicago was able to pull away in the third quarter, outscoring Atlanta 31-18. In a game that featured seven lead changes up until that point, it proved to be just enough, as the Sky held the lead for the duration of the fourth quarter.
The Sky’s offensive attack was led by Elena Delle Donne and Cappie Pondexter who notched 34 and 17 points, respectively.
“I’m a scorer, so I have to keep shooting no matter what”, Pondexter said. “I can do a lot of different things so it doesn’t matter if it’s falling or not. We worked a lot on actually getting the ball into the post and trusting them more than we had in the beginning of the season and allowing them to go to work. It opened a lot of things up and it gave the posts a lot of confidence.”
Cheyenne Parker also aided in the effort, scoring 14 points, 12 of which came in the third.
“Patience”, Parker emphasized. “Just staying patient and slowing down my mindset…It helped get the wings open by sprinting to the block in transition, setting good step-up screens and transition screens. Just doing everything that I’ve been learning throughout the season.”
Angel McCoughtry, who led the Dream with 22 points and five rebounds, noted it came down to mistakes down the stretch for her team.
“Just some little mistakes that we have to adjust and get together,” she said. “Other than that, Chicago fought hard and everyone is trying to get a playoff spot. We have to figure it out.”
Dream associate head coach Karleen Thompson was philosophical about the loss.
“Basketball is a game of runs, so at some point you are going to be behind or be up,” she said. “They came from behind. It was a dogfight, you have to sustain it and stay focused. They played a better game tonight and came out with the win.”