For the Atlanta Dream, the first half of their first WNBA season was even worse than they could have imagined as they stumbled on the longest losing streak in league history.
One game into the second half, things already are going considerably better.
The Dream will look to follow their inaugural victory with their first road win on Wednesday when they begin a season-high six-game trip by facing the struggling Minnesota Lynx.
After losing the first 17 games of its 34-game schedule, Atlanta could have begun thinking about the possibility they might go winless for the entire season - especially with such a long road trip on the horizon.
Instead, the Dream (1-17) kicked off the second half by ending all such speculation with a 91-84 home win Saturday over the Chicago Sky. Six players scored in double figures for Atlanta, which trailed by 13 points in the first quarter.
The Dream also were behind by one with under two minutes to play, but six straight points gave them the lead for good.
"We finally got some smiles," coach Marynell Meadors said. "We can actually walk with our heads up high and shoulders back. I think now we'll be OK."
Ivory Latta and Jennifer Lacy each scored 18 points to lead Atlanta, which also got 11 points and 11 assists from Kristin Haynie off the bench. Latta, averaging 17.2 points in her last six games, did her damage in just 15 minutes and had 16 points in the second half.
The Dream won despite getting only 10 points from Betty Lennox, their leading scorer with 18.9 per game.
"Everyone stepped up and just had the mind-set of contributing," Haynie said. "It was all about us getting it done."
They didn't have much time to celebrate before heading on their longest road trip of the season. Atlanta has lost all seven of its road games, but it gave the two top teams in the Eastern Conference problems on its most recent trip, taking Connecticut to overtime before losing 100-92 at Detroit.
It also nearly beat Minnesota (9-9) at home earlier this season, losing 85-81 on June 3. Lennox had 28 points in that game, but Lynx rookie Candice Wiggins had 22 in the second half to help hold off Atlanta.
That win brought the Lynx to 5-0, but since then, they've struggled. They've now lost eight of 11 and three of their last four after a 96-71 defeat at Seattle on Saturday, as the Storm outscored Minnesota 32-13 in the third quarter.
"We thought they'd make their run and then we'd come back with our own," Minnesota's Seimone Augustus said. "After we came out at halftime and they went on their run, it gets you down. But at the same time, you still have to fight. After it got up 18 or 20 points, you knew it was basically over after that."