Rhyne Howard #10 of the Atlanta Dream drives to the basket during the game against the Dallas Wings during round one game one of the 2023 WNBA Playoffs on September 15, 2023 at the College Park Center in Arlington, TX. Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rhyne Howard Makes History in WNBA Playoff Debut – Twice
Dorothy J. Gentry
In her first WNBA Playoff appearance in which she dropped 36 points, the Atlanta Dream’s Rhyne Howard made both league and franchise history.
With those 36 points she became the youngest player in WNBA history to score 30+ points in the postseason and scored the most ever points for a WNBA playoff debut.
Howard also set the WNBA record for most points scored in a postseason first quarter with 19; that ties fellow Dream player Angel McCoughtry. She also made 8 shots from beyond the arc, setting a new Dream playoff record from distance.
While it’s a significant accomplishment, it mattered little to Howard who is a competitor in every way.
“Being the youngest player, I wasn’t aware of that until just now,” she said during postgame when told about her accomplishment. “But I’m not here to break records in a game. I am here to win.”
Watching Howard perform at such a high level in her playoff debut “was amazing,” said teammate Allisha Gray.
“She’s a bucket. She did what she was supposed to do,” Gray said. “Even when we were down, Rhyne hit some big buckets for us. She did her thing tonight. I was very proud of her.”
Despite the history-making performance from its second-year star, the Dream still lost Game 1 of this Best-of-3 series. Game 2 will be played Tuesday night in Dallas. Game 3 if necessary will be back in Atlanta on Friday, Sept. 22.