Dream Defeats Sky for Historic First Win

Atlanta 91, Chicago 84

ATLANTA, July 5 (AP) - The Atlanta Dream's wait for their first win is over.

Ivory Latta scored 16 of her 18 points in the second half to help the expansion Dream end the longest losing skid to start a season in league history with a 91-84 victory over the Chicago Sky on Saturday night.

After the win, the often bubbly Latta hopped around the court as her Dream (1-17) teammates surrounded her in a huddle, blue and white confetti pouring over them.

"It was just this great feeling inside knowing we finally got one,'' Latta said. "I looked up into the crowd and saw all the smiling faces and felt that this is what they deserve.''

Kristin Haynie had 11 points and 11 assists and Jennifer Lacy added 18 points for Atlanta (1-17), which became the first team without a win by the midpoint of the season when it lost to Connecticut on June 27 to fall to 0-14.

"Everyone stepped up and just had the mind-set of contributing,'' Haynie said. "It was all about us getting it done.''

Atlanta was routed in a home-and-home series with the Sky (5-11) last month. Chicago won 86-72 in Atlanta on June 6, then followed with a 91-70 victory at home to set a franchise record for largest margin of victory.

Tamera Young, Betty Lennox and Iziane Castro Marques had 10 points apiece for the Dream, who overcame a 13-point deficit in the first quarter for the win.

Lacy helped the Dream hold a 46-35 lead at halftime, scoring 11 in the first half. Despite starting off slowly, she said the team never lost hope.

"There was so much time left,'' Lacy said. "We couldn't give up. We couldn't let this one slip through, so we kept pushing.''

A layup by Chasity Melvin and another from Dominique Canty gave Chicago an 81-80 lead with 1:54 left in the fourth, but the Sky would not lead again after Atlanta scored six straight points.

Canty, who finished with 10 points, said the lost hurt more than the others because they didn't want to be the first team to lose to the Dream.

"The momentum changed,'' Canty said. "They hit all their shots and they didn't let up.''

Young made two free throws to put the Dream up 82-81 with 1:36 remaining. Latta, who played only five minutes in the first half, scored on a layup, then Young added two more free throws to push Atlanta's lead to five points.

"She's a winner, she's an absolute winner,'' coach Marynell Meadors said of Latta. "It's never say die with her. She just looks at me with those big eyes and I know she wants it.''

After a scramble for a rebound, the ball bounced out to Jia Perkins, who knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 86-84 with 20.7 seconds remaining. But the Dream pulled away, making their next five free throws.

"We have to finish plays,'' Sky coach Steven Key said. "There were several factors that contributed tonight, not just not getting rebound after missed free throws. We just couldn't finish.''

Perkins led Chicago with 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Candice Dupree added 19 points.

With the win, Meadors said her team has some newfound confidence before the Dream begins a six-game road trip that begins next week.

"We finally got some smiles,'' the coach said. "We can actually walk with our heads up high and shoulders back. I think now we'll be OK.''

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