Postgame Notes: Atlanta 62, New York 56
- Atlanta's record against New York improves to 19-27 all-time.
o Atlanta previously defeated the Liberty 84-78 on July 31.
- With her season-high six blocks tonight, Elizabeth Williams has passed Erika de Souza to become the Dream's all-time block leader with 283.
o Her six blocks set the single-game record for the WNBA in 2020.
o She also surpassed 300 in her career tonight and now has 302 in her six-year career.
- Courtney Williams recorded her third double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
o She finished with her 12th double-digit scoring effort of the season.
o Williams recorded her third double-digit rebound effort this season. She set a new career-high with 12 defensive rebounds tonight.
- Betnijah Laney finished with 13 points, her team-leading 15th double-digit game of 2020.
- Monique Billings grabbed 12 rebounds for her sixth double-digit rebounding effort of the season.
- Glory Johnson registered a season-high four steals.
- The Dream finished with a season-high 49 total rebounds and 37 defensive rebounds.
o Those 49 total rebounds set the single-game record for the WNBA in 2020.
Head Coach Nicki Collen
On if the defensive performance from the team in tonight's game, if she wants to see that going forward...
"New York is unique. They also don't have someone they play to and play through like a lot of teams in this league. So, they get you by stretching you. I thought for the most part, when we weren't in transition and we weren't kind of mixed matched as the result of a turnover or a long rebound type of thing, I thought we sat down and guarded. We gave up one back cut all night. So, that was huge, because they're a team that can score at the rim on back cuts. They started the game 3-of-5 from the arc. Some of it was good defense. Some of it was just they were 0-for-15 from the arc in the second half because they were 6-of-20 at the half. Some of that was just misses. This is a team that's going to shoot a lot of threes. They want paint touches and threes and are going to live and die by that. Ultimately, if a few more of those shots go it could have been a different game for them. They're a team that in their two wins are averaging 13 three-point makes, and in their losses they're averaging seven. So we kept them around that seven and under that. For the most part when a team shoots 26 percent there's going to be a lot of offensive rebounds out there. Our rebounding percentage wasn't that bad, but that would be my only disappointment. There were times that we didn't clean up well on the glass that we needed to."
On what it says about the Dream that they can grind out a win in a low-scoring game...
"I mean, they were frustrated. We were not always composed. We were constantly trying to keep them in next play mode. I think the game was really physical. We had players frustrated. They thought they were getting fouled. So, I think staying in tune, making up some big plays late, Courtney [Williams] making a big play, Betnijah [Laney] making a big basket after she struggled from the field, those are winning plays. We kept talking about that in timeouts. When you get to the fourth quarter and it's winning time, you've got to make winning plays. Whether that's a defensive rebound, or a steal, or setting a good screen to get a teammate a shot. When you're not hitting, you've got to find a way to create a shot for somebody else. So, we just found a way. It wasn't always pretty. It's probably never pretty. For those that had to watch the other night versus tonight, that's the tale of two games. Ultimately, when you put a win in the right column, that's what you want at the end of the day."
Center-Forward Elizabeth Williams (#1)
On if the team is gaining confidence and playing their best basketball toward the end of the season...
"Absolutely. We play every game and go through every day trying to get a little bit better. It took us a little longer than some other teams. I think part of that is just the circumstances that we were in. Now that we've had everyone for a little while and we're slowly getting used to it, we're playing better basketball. I mean, even though we lost those LA games, I think you could see that the level of play was higher, so we're just trying to continue that hopefully into the postseason."
On becoming the all-time franchise blocks leader in tonight's game, what it means to her...
"Yeah, that's big. I guess I've been at this franchise longer than I realize, but it's a pretty cool stat. I take a lot of pride in my defense and anything that I can do to help our team win. I think today, it's been the blocks. So, it's an exciting stat. I'm proud of it for sure."
Forward Shekinna Stricklen (#40)
On her play in the final few minutes to secure the win...
"Yeah, just finding different ways. Everyone knows I'm a shooter and my shot has been up and down this season. Finding other ways, being aggressive, and especially trying to really focus on defense for sure."
On Elizabeth Williams's growth from the beginning of the season, how she's been a leader on this team...
"Coming to this team and knowing E [Elizabeth Williams], she's always been so quiet. I actually played with her in her rookie year in Connecticut, and knowing her, she's not always been a person that's going to talk a lot. But man, she's really taken that role. Been a great leader on and off the court, with everything that's been going on. The way she's been talking and really leading this team it's been great. I give her a lot of credit, she's really stepped up and taken that role."
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