Dream cruise past Mystics, 93-68

September 9, 2012

ATLANTA — Lindsey Harding had 15 points and nine assists, Erika DeSouza had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the Atlanta Dream crused to a 93-68 victory against the Washington Mystics on Sunday.

Armintie Price had 11 of her 15 points in the first half as the Dream (16-14) jumped to a 24-point first-half lead and finished shooting 59 percent. Cathrine Kraayeveld had 11 points and Tiffany Hayes added 10.

Crystal Langhorne and Noelle Quinn scored 12 points each for the league-worst Mystics (5-24), who lost their eighth straight. Monique Currie and Jasmine Thomas added 10 points each, and Ashley Robinson grabbed 13 rebounds.

Atlanta rebounded from a double-overtime loss at Minnesota on Friday in which it squandered a 25-point lead in the first half.

Angel McCoughtry, who scored 30 points against the Lynx and came in averaging a league-leading 21.1 points per game, finished with eight points against Washington. However, her teammates picked up the scoring load.

The Dream shot 61 percent in the first half and led by 24 points in the second quarter before settling for a 46-27 halftime lead. Atlanta had 26 points in the paint and scored 14 on the fast break.

Washington shot just 27.6 percent in the first half and committed 12 turnovers.

Atlanta made nine of its first 11 shots and led 20-9 before Washington cut the margin to 22-15 at the end of the first quarter. But the Dream went on a 22-2 run in the second quarter to go up 44-20.

Price made her first four shots and had nine of her 11 first-half points in the opening quarter. Harding had six assists in the first half.

The Mystics cut Atlanta’s lead to 60-45, but the Dream ended the third quarter on an 8-0 run go up by 23 points going into the final quarter.

Atlanta beat Washington twice last month without McCoughtry, including an 82-59 home victory on Aug. 30. The teams meet for the final time at Washington on Friday.

LIBERTY 73, SPARKS 71: Cappie Pondexter had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Plenette Pierson scored 17 points, and host New York rallied to beat Los Angeles.

Essence Carson scored 14 points, including 11 during a 21-3 run in the third quarter that gave the Liberty (12-17) the lead after trailing by 14 points.

Kristi Toliver scored 17 points, Candace Parker had 14 points and 15 rebounds, and rookie Nneka Ogwumike added 13 points for the Sparks (20-10).

Carson’s three-pointer tied the score at 70-all with 48 seconds remaining, and Pondexter made two free throws about 26 seconds later to put the Liberty ahead.

Ebony Hoffman made a free throw with 15 seconds left and Toliver missed a go-ahead three-pointer about 10 seconds later.

Pondexter sealed the win with a free throw with 2.2 seconds remaining to seal the win.

LYNX 81, SILVER STARS 62: Maya Moore had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead Minnesota Lynx to a road victory over San Antonio.

Rebekkah Brunson added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the defending champion and league-leading Lynx (24-4). Lindsay Whalen and Monica Wright each added 11 points and rookie Devereaux Peters had 10.

Sophia Young scored 20 points for San Antonio (17-11), which lost its third straight at home and fifth in a row overall. No other Silver Stars player scored more than eight points.

San Antonio finished 36 percent (24 for 66) from the field, including 4 for 18 on three-pointers.

Minnesota dominated the second quarter, using its defense and ball movement to outscore San Antonio 25-11 to take an 18-point lead at the break.

Peters hit a turnaround jumper with 1:38 left in the first half and Wright made a layup 19 seconds later to give the Lynx their largest lead at 45-24. After missing her first three shots, Shenise Johnson closed the first half by making consecutive shots to pull San Antonio to 47-29.

Eight players scored in the second quarter for the Lynx, including 14 points from reserves.

The Silver Stars used a series of picks for open looks, but were 3 for 11 on three-pointers in the first half.

San Antonio was forced to play catch-up the remainder of the game, but got no closer than seven points in the second half.

The Silver Stars opened the second half on a 6-0 run, forcing the Lynx to call a timeout with 7:22 left in the third quarter. Whalen hit a 16-foot jumper immediately after the timeout, but San Antonio went on another 6-0 run following that basket.

Young hit a pair of free throws as the Silver Stars closed to 55-46, its first deficit under 10 points since trailing 32-23 with seven minutes left in the first half.

Young’s layup pulled San Antonio to 57-50 with 1 minute left in the third quarter, prompting a fist-pump in celebration by Young and another timeout by Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve.

The Lynx rebuilt a double-digit lead on a turnaround jumper by Peters and a fastbreak layup by Whalen for a 65-54 advantage with seven minutes left in the game.

Minnesota post Jessica Adair entered the game in the closing minute of the game and promptly hit a jumper, as every Lynx player on the active roster scored a point.

The Lynx scored the game’s first eight points, including three-pointers by Moore and Wright. Shameka Christon broke the run with a three-pointer, but Moore and Wright hit two more three-pointers to build Minnesota’s lead to 17-9.

The reserves pulled the Silver Stars to 19-16 with two minutes remaining, but the followed with an 8-2 run bridging the first and second quarters.

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