Postgame Notes: Atlanta 85, Los Angeles 93
Atlanta Dream (2-11) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (9-3)
August 21, 2020
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT Final Points Rebounds Assists
Los Angeles 25 15 16 25 12 93 Gray - 20 Parker - 9 Parker - 5
Atlanta 17 18 23 23 4 85 Johnson - 23 Billings - 9 Laney - 11
Game highlights: https://youtu.be/Kie_OE_p2PY
- Atlanta's record against Los Angeles moves to 16-13 all-time.
- The Atlanta Dream started Courtney Williams, Betnijah Laney, Shekinna Stricklen, Monique Billings and Elizabeth Williams.
- Betnijah Laney recorded her first career double-double with 15 points and a career-best 11 assists.
- Glory Johnson finished with a season-high 23 points off the bench.
o Johnson passed 2,500 career points this evening and now has 2,507 total.
- Courtney Williams finished with her eighth double-figure scoring effort of the season, dropping 16 points tonight.
o She also matched her season-high record with seven assists.
- Shekinna Stricklen finished with 16 points, her fourth double-figure effort of the season.
o With her 3 three-pointers made, she now has 444 in her career.
- Atlanta recorded a season-high 27 assists.
- Tonight's game marked the first overtime game of the 2020 season. It was the second time in the last two years that the Dream and Sparks played an overtime game.
Head Coach Nicki Collen
On how much the Los Angeles Sparks having played together for a while impacts an overtime situation...
"I mean. They have Chelsea Gray. Since Derek [Fisher]'s been there, we've played them three times close last year, and it comes down to Chelsea [Gray] time. You just can't let it come down to Chelsea Gray time. Quite frankly, she can be bad for three quarters, but when the game's on the line late, she's just unbelievably confident. I think that had a lot to do with it. I also think it had a lot to do with that fact that they're playing more people and they're fresher. I think that makes a difference too until we can get Chennedy [Carter] back. Courtney [Williams] had a double-double with turnovers tonight. Nobody feels worse about it than her, but we're playing her out of position to put our best lineup on the floor. We're gonna have to live with the growing pains of that. When we can get her back to not having the pressure of having the ball in her hands all the time and have to start every offensive possession with some kind of an entry pass. I liked coaching that team today. I think you guys saw what I thought we were going to get from Glory [Johnson] on a night by night basis when we signed her in February."
On if tonight's game felt more the Atlanta Dream team she was hoping for; if Chennedy Carter is still on schedule to return...
"We're still kind of day by day at this point. She went through shooting drills today. We're just gonna be really careful with Chennedy Carter. As much as we know she'll make us a better basketball team right now, we have to weigh now vs the future. We're not going to put her out there if she's not healthy. Hopefully, yes, at this point she is on track to be back in that two week timeframe, so she's close. Did it feel the team? Yeah, I mean it would be helpful to have Chennedy [Carter] out there, and certainly I still don't have Tiffany Hayes, but I think that you saw a balance scoring effort. Strick [Shekinna Stricklen] making three's. You saw Glory [Johnson] flying around, getting on the offensive boards, and attacking the basket. The lightbulb went off. I don't know if it was LA. I don't know if she likes playing against Candace [Parker] and the whole Tennessee thing. We need that from Glory [Johnson] every game. Not necessarily 23 points, but the energy and the activity. She was so good. Kind of gave us the energy we needed off the bench tonight."
Forward Shekinna Stricklen (#40)
On what was going well for her tonight...
"Oh man. It's been rough for me honestly. It felt so good just seeing the ball go through the hoop. Knowing my confidence hasn't been there. Knowing I'm a great shooter. Teammates been talking to me and just getting out of my own head. Man, it just felt good seeing it go through today."
On what the team's goal is the rest of the way through, especially if they can get Chennedy Carter back... "Just like how we played today. We're gonna keep fighting every game, and we're just gonna keep trying to get better. Keep learning each other. I think today was the best we've played as a team. Our chemistry, you've seen it. The fire was moving the ball. We were communicating on defense, and that's something we really haven't had since we started the season here. Just seeing that and just trying to keep building on that. We just keep working on us as a team and just keep building that chemistry."
Forward Glory Johnson (#0)
On her mindset throughout the game; some of her personal takeaways from tonight's game...
"My mindset was just to come in and bring way more energy that I've brought in before. My team needs a different amount of energy, regardless of how many minutes I play. That was my main focus today -- coming in, bringing energy on the bench, communicating with my teammates, talking about what I see, and trying to help as much as possible, whether I'm on the court or off the court."
On if she feels closer to being her normal self...
"For sure. I think at first I was a little bit anxious to force things. Coming in, missing training camp, not really knowing what to expect from a brand new team. I know what they expect from me. I think that's what I tried to bring today, instead of settling a lot for outside shots. Trying to force other teams to guard both when it comes to me. Not just a shot, but when I'm aggressive, to go to the basket as well."
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