- This afternoon’s game vs. Chicago marked the first home game for the Dream following a pair of games on the road to open the season.
- Today’s game marked the lone home game in a stretch that will see Atlanta play four of its first five away from home.
- Atlanta closed out the first half on a 9-2 run to cut a Chicago lead that had swelled to 10 points midway through the quarter to just two at 26-24.
- The Dream took their first lead of the game at 28-26 on a shot by Matee Ajavon with 8:06 left in the second quarter.
- Angel McCoughtry gave the Dream their first lead of the second half at 55-54 with 4:03 left in the third quarter.
- Atlanta outscored Chicago 27-17 in the third quarter – led by Angel McCoughtry’s 10 points
- The Dream outscored the Sky by 12 points when Carla Cortijo was in the game during the third quarter.
- Layshia Clarendon’s 15 points marked her third consecutive double-figure scoring effort since being acquired by the Dream via trade.
- Angel McCoughtry has scored double-figure points in all three games this season following today’s season-high 21-point effort.
- Atlanta moves to 6-3 overall in home openers following today’s 87-81 victory over Chicago.
- Today’s 87-81 margin of victory for Atlanta marked the first time since August 10, 2014 that a game in the Dream-Sky series has been decided by more than five points – a span of for meetings.
- Chicago played without point guard Courtney Vandersloot who was out with a sprained ankle and is listed as day-to-day.
- Cappie Pondexter (9) and Ellena Delle Donne (7) scored 16 of Chicago’s 26 first-quarter points.
- Chicago was 10-for-10 from the free throw line in the first quarter.
- The Sky lost despite outrebounding the Dream 45-35 but allowed Atlanta to pull down 14 offensive rebounds while only managing seven offensive boards on their end.
- After going 10-for-10 from the foul line in the first quarter was only 8-for-12 for the remainder of the game.
ATLANTA DREAM VS. CHICAGO SKY
POSTGAME QUOTES – MAY 22, 2016
Atlanta Dream Head Coach Michael Cooper
“I thought it was a well-played game by both teams. I know that they were missing a player, but it was nice to come home and take this home game. We were able to play well against a very good basketball team. I know we have done a lot of changes as far as player personnel goes, but I think they are starting to get their rhythm. It was a big win for us today.”
Against Indiana you [Atlanta Dream] struggled with turnovers, what did you do today to curb that…
“I told them that I don’t want them to cut down their activity as far as in transition, but it was important for us to play a little bit slower. In Indiana we were just looking to do things too quick. When you do that you create turnovers. So on the board we kept our turnovers down but I still want us [the team] to be aggressive.”
What is it like to come in and win the home opener…
“With the way the playoff structure is formatted, these early games are extremely important. That is why I was kind of upset in Indiana. That game was one that we should have won I thought, but it’s the top teams and these are important games that could come and bite us in the end. So I definitely want to win at home and go at least .500 on the road. It was very important for us to get this one tonight after losing against Indiana in our last game.”
#8 – Carla Cortijo
Thoughts on the fourth quarter and your performance at home…
“You know I’m coming off injury on my foot but I feel great. The idea I’m trying to bring to the team is to pump them up and get them this win. I know we could beat them. We just needed to take some offensive rebounds and you know we got the win at the end.”
#52 – Elizabeth Williams
Thoughts on being a defensive player for the Dream…
“Coop [Head Coach Michael Cooper] brought me in here, and in college I blocked a lot of shots. It makes a big difference to be a big person inside.”
#23 – Layshia Clarendon
Thoughts on the first home game with the Dream…
“Feeling great with my first game here at home. Still feels a bit like a foreign court here, but I just wanted to get one for the fans. And I just want to give credit to our bench for really showing up and credit to the team for trusting me so quickly and letting me come in and make a difference on the team.”
Chicago Sky Head Coach Pokey Chatman
“I think we weren’t disciplined defensively. We allowed Atlanta to attack us, put them on the free throw line 30 plus times. That sort of negates some of the positive things you do like rebounding, and taking care of the basketball, you can’t do that with any team in the league, let alone a team that has energy coming off a lost and their home opener.”
On technical foul…
“I asked the ref a question about a call and he said he didn’t know. My assist coach said ‘you missed it’ and he gave my coach a technical foul.”
On bench play…
“I like this team. We have several options with people coming off the team. We have someone like an Allie Quigley, like a Tamera Young, we can move people around, so I know they are capable being the players that we need them to be. Tonight was a struggle for everyone. Overall I’m confident in my bench.”
On Elena Delle Donne struggle…
“I always like to credit the opposition on Elena. She’s not going to force shots if they are running people at her. 81 points is enough to win a basketball game in that regard but we weren’t getting stops, we weren’t getting out in transitions. We’ll continue to get more touches for more people in the scrimmage area.”
Chicago Sky Forward Elena Delle Donne…
On overall performance
“I think we had good spirits. They [Atlanta Dream] would go on runs and that’s when you would have to come together as a team and stop them. We weren’t able to do that.”
…team improvements for next game…
“We wanted to work on transition defense, today it wasn’t bad at all and bailing teams out. Putting them on the foul line 31 times, it’s tough to win games when you’re doing that.”
Chicago Sky Guard Cappie Pondexter
On overall performance…
“Like Elena said, we had spurts where we were really great and we had moments where we weren’t and they capitalized on it and took the momentum from us. Those are areas we can clean up moving forward.”
On Chicago Sky’s strong point…
“Just the ability to move players in and out of position and the ability to move the ball.”
On what should fans [Chicago Sky] expect…
“Just a solid team. We compete on both ends of the floor; just an all-around winning team.”