The starting backcourt of Renee Montgomery and Tiffany Hayes combined for 39 points as the host Atlanta Dream set a franchise record for most victories in a season, defeating the Dallas Wings 92-82 Saturday afternoon.
Montgomery led Atlanta with 24 points, shooting 8-for-9 from the field and 6-for-7 from beyond the 3-point arc. Elizabeth Williams had 18 points, nine rebounds and five blocks, Hayes added 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Jessica Breland had 13 points and seven rebounds.
The Dream (21-10) have won five straight games and 13 of their past 14 in their bid to capture one of the top two seeds in the WNBA playoffs and a bye into the semifinals. Atlanta currently is second, trailing Seattle by two games for the best overall mark and 1 1/2 games ahead of third-place Washington.
The Dream have done it the past two games without Angel McCoughtry, a five-time All-Star forward who tore ligaments in her left knee in Tuesday’s victory against Las Vegas and will miss the rest of the season.
Skylar Diggins-Smith, who averaged 25.5 points as the Wings won the first two games in the season series in late May, scored a game-high 26 points on Saturday and added 10 assists and five rebounds.
Dallas (14-16) dropped its seventh in a row as its clings to the WNBA’s eighth and final playoff berth, and played without center Liz Cambage, the league’s leading scorer with 23.0 points per game.
Cambage sat out after taking a hard hit to the head in Wednesday’s loss to Connecticut.
Dallas leads Las Vegas with four games remaining on their schedule. The Wings host the Aces on Aug. 17 date in Dallas.
Atlanta took a 70-57 lead into the fourth quarter before the Wings opened with a 10-0 run, capped by Tayler Hill’s 3-pointer, to force the Dream to call timeout with 6:56 left, their lead down to three.
The Dream responded with a 12-2 run, with Montgomery and Williams each scoring six points, to pull away.
Hayes and Montgomery combined for 14 points in the first quarter as Atlanta took a 29-17 lead. Dallas’ Diggins-Smith was held to two points in the quarter.
Diggins-Smith scored 11 in the second as the Wings pulled within five points, but a late surge gave Atlanta a 49-39 lead at the intermission.
–Field Level Media OLUSSPORT Reuters US Online Report Sports News 20180812T065106+0000
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