Atlanta Dream Clinch Playoff Spot
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Dream have clinched a spot in the 2018 WNBA Playoffs after defeating the Las Vegas Aces, 109-100, Tuesday night.
Atlanta will make its eighth postseason appearance in 11 years and has recorded its best record after 29 games (19-10) in franchise history. The Dream, currently sitting in second place, will continue to fight for playoff seeding over its final five games.
The 2018 WNBA Playoffs will begin Tuesday, August 21 with a pair of single-game elimination games between the No. 5 and No. 8 seeds and No. 6 and No. 7 seeds. The second round, which is also a single-game elimination game, will be played Thursday, August 23.
Atlanta Dream Playoff ticket information will be released in the coming days. Please visit www.atlantadream.net for more information.
Season, group tickets and single game tickets are available now for the remaining games and the 2019 season. For more information, visit atlantadream.net or call 877.977.7729.
The Atlanta Dream plays its home games in McCamish Pavilion on the Georgia Tech campus. Atlanta has qualified for the playoffs eight times, winning conference titles in 2013, 2011 and 2010.
(UPDATED) POST GAME NOTES/QUOTES
ATLANTA DREAM VS. LAS VEGAS ACES
McCamish Pavilion - Atlanta, GA
AUGUST 7 - @ 7:00 PM
TEAM Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4 FINAL
Atlanta Dream 27 29 24 29 109
Las Vegas Aces 31 29 24 16 100
Highlights - http://bit.ly/2Mcyy26
Elizabeth Williams' Highlights - http://bit.ly/2M92BYI
With tonight's win the Dream clinch a playoff spot. This marks the Dream's eighth playoff appearance in 11 years and has recorded its best record after 29 games (19-10).
The Atlanta Dream finished with a franchise record 109 points.
Atlanta recorded a franchise record 14 blocked shots.
Elizabeth Williams led the Dream in scoring and finished with her 10thdouble-digit scoring effort of the season (22 points, a new career high).
Williams finished with the best field goal percentage in a single game in Dream history (11-12/.917)
Tiffany Hayes recorded her 11th 20+ point game with 21 points.
Alex Bentley registered her fourth double-digit point game with the Dream (22 points).
Atlanta gave up a season-high 60 first half points to the Aces.
The Dream are now 19-10 on the season and 11-4 at home.
Atlanta is now 14-9 all-time against the Las Vegas Aces franchise and 9-3 in Atlanta.
The last time two WNBA teams topped 100 points in regulation was July 13, 2011 when Phoenix beat Minnesota, 112-105.
A'ja Wilson (18 points) reached double figures in scoring for the 28th straight time to start her career.
Kayla McBride (19 points) scored in double figures for the 24th time this season, including the 23rd straight.
Kelsey Plum (20 points) scored in double figures for the 10th time this season. She also scored 20 or more points for the second straight game, and added a career-high 13 assists for her first career double-double.
Dearica Hamby (13 points) scored in double figures for the 10th time this season.
Kayla McBride's consecutive made free throw streak came to an end at 42 when she missed the front end of a twofer with 1:42 gone in the second quarter.
Las Vegas gave up 100 or more points for the third straight game.
The 109 points scored by the Dream was the most in Atlanta's history, and tied for the most points allowed by the Aces in their 22-year history.
Dream Post Game Quotes
Dream Head Coach Nicki Collen
On Angel's injury..."I'm not a doctor. Angel told me what she thought she did, but I don't think she's a doctor either. She was with Dr. Mines. Hopefully it's just a little bit of a hyper-extension at this point, but certainly these games are coming - I mean we have three games in the next four days or five days - so we'll be smart about it. We'll be smart with her, and certainly not push her if she's not ready."
On whether making franchise history and the playoffs in her first year as a head coach is pressure or motivation for her... "I mean I feel pressure every game, but I don't feel like it would be any different if we were 9-19 or 10-19 as opposed to 19-10. I'm a competitor, and I love what I do and I like my team and I think we have good pieces...and so my challenge is to get them ready for every game...and I'm always going to put pressure on myself to be prepared...and you know when you don't have a lot of great answers defensively because everything they throw up goes in, that's frustrating for me. That just eats away at me as the game is going on, but I thought we made big plays when we needed to at the end. I think we made - as good as Aja Wilson is - we made her inefficient for the second time that we've played them. She definitely has put points on the board against us, but she's been inefficient against us. So really credit to Breland and Elizabeth who guarded her quite a bit tonight as well."
#20 Alex Bentley
On her performance tonight... "My teammates make it so easy. This one over here (Elizabeth) always setting great step-ups for me in transition. They've got to guard people like Tif and B and Mack, so the floor is wide open for me. It's been a struggle, but I'm glad I'm finally seeing the ball go through the hoop."
On matching the Aces' tempo..."Well, the scout was that they like to play fast. They're the fastest team in the league, but we also like to play fast. After we got up and down, we started having fun. We started getting stops on the defensive end. It started helping us out and translating to buckets for us."
#1 Elizabeth Williams
On the mindset going into the fourth quarter.... "Win the game. At that point we had been going back and forth, and I think it was a little frustrating just because they were hitting so many tough shots so we really wanted to get shots down the stretch, and I think we did a good job of that."
On whether Angel's injury motivated the team... "Always. I think any time a teammate goes down your mindset changes a little bit. We're always trying to play for each other, and that's one thing that we even talked about before the game. So I think seeing her go down was a little extra motivation for us."
Aces Post Game Quotes
Aces Head Coach Bill Laimbeer
On team's defense ... "Well, we're playing some very good basketball teams right now. Our pace of play is going to be conducive to scoring a lot of points. Both Connecticut and Atlanta shot really well against us and made some big plays. This is playoff environment basketball, and this is what happens.
On Kelsey Plum ... "I think she was very focused on this game. She's a very good competitor and she really enjoyed the competition out there. She made some shots to get herself going. She turned the ball over, but overall I thought she had a great game."
On Alex Bentley and Elizabeth Williams ... "Bentley is going to drive left and make cut shots. That's who she is. She's playing very well as of late scoring almost 20 points a game over the last couple of games. She made those shots again tonight. Never let Williams get loose on the inside. That was unfortunate. She cleaned up on the garbage baskets and that hurt us.
#22 A'ja Wilson
On crowd ... "That was very special. That's what it's all about. They always support no matter what. It's always good to have people that are like that. They really follow you through just not your collegiate years, but your pro- after college career. It was a lot of fun seeing all the garnet and black and everyone cheering.
On Kelsey Plum ... "KP just got going. She just started really getting into it and locked in. We need to figure out what happened and we need to say that every game. She just played a great game. That's the point guard I know. That's the point guard I was really excited to play alongside with. That's the Kelsey Plum that I know and that's what she does"
On improving the team's defensive end ... "Just mentally prepare ourselves. We can't really give up that amount of points. The teams we played against seem like they were going to miss, but they've been shooting great. We really just have to mentally lock in all the time for 40 minutes and I think that's what it's going to take to kind of get that job done.
#10 Kelsey Plum
On her career-high performance tonight ... "I'm just bummed. I think down the stretch I didn't do a very good job of controlling the game and controlling the pace. And, I let it kind of get away from us. Credit to them, they made some great plays and hit some big shots. That's why they're one of best teams in the league. That's what they do. They have great players. They came to play. I think this is a learning experience. Moriah and I have to figure how to run the team late in the game. I know we're young, but it's not an excuse.
On team's mentality heading back to Las Vegas ... "I think we know that we can compete with anyone. We just have to figure out how to get everyone to show up at the same time and play. This league is so good from top to bottom. You have to come every night with your A-game or you're going to get beat. And, that's what happened here tonight. We have to get a win at home and stay alive with our playoff hopes. We're just going to take it one game at a time at home."
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Women's National Basketball Association Stories from August 7, 2018
- Atlanta Dream Clinch Playoff Spot - Atlanta Dream
- Atlanta Pulls Away in Fourth Quarter, Sending Aces to Third Straight Defeat, 109-100 - Las Vegas Aces
- Las Vegas Aces Statement on Forfeiture of Washington Game - Las Vegas Aces
- Mystics Playoff Games to be Played at Smith Center - Washington Mystics
- Tiffany Hayes Signs Multi-Year Extension with Atlanta Dream - Atlanta Dream
- Liberty Host Sparks in Midweek Meeting - New York Liberty
- Las Vegas Aces Forfeit Game vs. Washington Mystics - Washington Mystics
- Las Vegas Aces Forfeit Game vs. Washington Mystics - WNBA
- Aces Travel to Atlanta with Sights Still Set on Eight Seed in WNBA Playoffs - Las Vegas Aces
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