Bentley Returns with 10 Points But Dream Fall 85-68 to Lynx
Minneapolis, Minn. - Alex Bentley got off a plane to score 10 points but the Atlanta Dream dropped an 85-68 decision to the Minnesota Lynx Tuesday night at the Target Center.
Bentley, who rejoined the team after missing the last four games for Eurobasket play, entered the game late in the first quarter, seeing action in her 200th career WNBA game. Bentley played a team-high 27 minutes, finishing with season-highs in rebounds (four), and assists (five). Elizabeth Williams led the Dream (2-9) with 14 points.
Atlanta opened the game on a 6-0 run and stayed with the Lynx throughout the first half behind 43.8% shooting from the field. Minnesota (7-6) road All-WNBA center Sylvia Fowles, who had 12 of her 16 points in the first half, to a 38-34 lead after the first 20 minutes.
Minnesota got going in the third quarter, scoring 28 points and pushed its four-point lead to 16 by the end of the frame. They did not look back from that point on.
Atlanta continues its three-game road swing against the Seattle Storm Friday evening at Alaska Airlines Arena State Farm Arena. The game, which tips at 10 p.m. ET, will be streamed around the Southeast on WSB-TV Now.
Atlanta Dream Notes
- Atlanta started Renee Montgomery, Tiffany Hayes, Brittney Sykes, Jessica Breland and Elizabeth Williams.
- Alex Bentley, who was playing for team Belarus in Eurobasket action over the weekend, landed in Minneapolis at 4pm and was in uniform for pregame warm-ups.
- After entering the game in the first quarter, Bentley has now played in 200 career WNBA games.
- Bentley grabbed a season high four rebounds and dished out a season-high five assists.
- Bentley finished with 10 points, her third game of the season in double-digits.
- Renee Montgomery has hit a three-point shot in 16-straight games. After her one today, she has 483 in her career.
- Elizabeth Williams finished in double-figures for the fourth time this season (14 points).
- Williams has at least one block in nine games this season.
ATLANTA DREAM QUOTES
Head Coach Nicki Collen
On the overall game...
"Well I thought there was a lot of good stuff in the first half. I thought we really battled. I think we got ourselves, you know, when you look at the third quarter, it obviously got away from us in the third quarter and it was turnover, turnover, turnover. You know, it was a three turnover stretch that took us from seven to down 15 and that's basically the game right there. So, you know, we've had really good moments over the last, you know, we weren't very good the first few games of the season, but I thought we've been better since then. We have these stretches where it's turnovers and bad shots or we haven't been able to stop a run. The turnover by Renee (Montgomery), then (Brittney) Sykes, then (Alex) Bentley, you know, back-to-back-to-back. We got good shots when we ran offense. I mean, (Jessica) Breland probably missed six wide-open 15-17 footers, which quite frankly she shoots better than a layup most of the time. So, you know, when you have your players that you are running plays for, getting shots in the spots that you want 'em, and they miss you gotta keep getting stops. And I thought the turnover run was where it hurt us."
On Talbot's play tonight, was that expected...
"I mean we knew she could shoot, certainly on the scouting report. You know, I think like all but six of her shots this season have been threes. I thought that we didn't do a great job running her off the line. It's easy to get sucked in when Fowles, you feel like Fowles is the focal point. But when you give 16 to Fowles, and 16 to Odyssey, you kinda expect that. And, Odyssey wasn't super efficient with her shots, and so, obviously the wild card there was Talbot. I thought Collier really hurt us on the offensive glass, not necessarily cause she got them and got put backs, but she got them extra possessions, you know, that led to a three or leads to a basket, you know that we're deflating cause you get a first shot miss. And so I thought, she did what she does, she's super active and cuts hard, rebounds hard. So yeah, I don't think there was any doubt, once Talbot got going, she had a couple late in the shot clock, where we played pretty good defense for 18-20 seconds, then she hits a dagger on us. But, you know, she certainly showed that she could do that in Phoenix a year ago, and you know she's used to playing with dominant centers, and kinda sit out on the corner and step into her shot. Other than the time we fouled her I thought they were pretty uncontested. She just stepped up and made open shots. "
Dream Guard Alex Bentley
On arriving right before the game...
"Literally touched down at 4 o'clock. Literally, just help my team anywhere I can."
On the game overall...
"It clearly got away from us. We just have to do a better job of being engaged and when teams try to go on runs on us, figure out ways to stop them."
Dream Center Elizabeth Williams
On the loss...
"We had some good things. We had a really strong start, which we haven't had in the past couple games, so that was important. I think the only thing that really hurt us was the start of the third quarter and when they made their run and we weren't able to come back. We've had this string of games where we've done some really good things, but we just haven't been able to do them for 40 minutes."
On what worked well offensively for her tonight...
"Just trying to be aggressive. Especially off of screen and rolls, that was something we talked about before the game, separating on screens, trying to make Syl move a little bit."
Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve
On the team defense tonight...
"The focus in shootaround was how we want to be a great defensive team. The last five games...when your offense is good enough for second, over those five games, and then you have an effective field goal percentage that's number two, you're putting the ball in the hole, and you're getting fast break points, and you lose? We should have been 5-0, if we defend in those games. That was the conversation this morning, it didn't sink in until after halftime. I think we got used to some of the actions they were running, even though we went through them in shootaround, it was like the first time ever seeing it, and then we settled in."
On Sylvia Fowles in the first half...
"I think Syl had a really good focus on how the game was being officiated. Not just our game, not just Sylvia Fowles, but as a league. We had conversations around that and what needed to happen for her to be successful in there. I thought she was very effective in keeping the ball closer to her. Then obviously she really focused on her finishes. Then she got in foul trouble. When a player has a decent first half, you're going to get a lot of attention, I don't think Syl ever got settled in and didn't have the same patience that she did in the first half."
Lynx Forward Stephanie Talbot
On her offensive success tonight...
"It's nice to have coaches and teammates that encourage you to let it fly whenever you are open. I think having that in the back of your mind, it makes you relax and it makes you more confident knowing that they support you."
On scoring in double-digits in back-to-back games for the first time in her career...
"I think I've always known I'm capable. It's being ready in the right situation and playing your game."
Lynx Center Sylvia Fowles
On Talbot's performance...
"Steph's been waiting for this moment. We've been talking to her a lot about just going out there and playing her game. She's a team player and she's willing to pass, but we need her to shoot. I think she kind of just soaked it in, because that's what our main focus was in halftime. Just go out and shoot, if you miss, oh well, we're there to get the rebound. She soaked it up really quick. She went out there and lit it up for us."
On the defensive adjustments in the second half...
"Just talking. Making sure that we are in the right spots. I don't think our defense was that bad in the first half. I think we were just over-rotating and not communicating as much and then once we got that figured out at halftime I think we were back to our normal selves."
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