Wings host sinking Dream, try to improve home record

National Sports

The Dallas Wings will look to find some home-court magic to help keep them in the playoff race when they host the reeling Atlanta Dream on Thursday in the first of two meetings in four days between the teams in Arlington, Texas.

The Wings head home after splitting a two-game mini-series at Washington, falling 76-75 to the Mystics on Saturday after winning 82-77 on Aug. 26. Dallas (11-15) led by 16 points at intermission in Saturday’s setback but surrendered 57 points to Washington in the second half.

Arike Ogunbowale scored 25 points to lead the Wings in the loss, with Isabelle Harrison hitting for 18 and Marina Mabrey adding 17 for Dallas. The Wings fell despite outrebounding the Mystics 34-22.

“We came out very sloppy in the second half,” Wings coach Vickie Johnson said. “It’s just the focus part of it. And this is playoff basketball. We got to close games. We can’t get so emotional and get caught up. We just didn’t execute defensively or offensively.”

Dallas is 2-3 since returning from the five-week Olympic break and hasn’t won at home since a 100-91 victory over Chicago on July 2. The Wings are 4-7 at home this season and have lost three straight on their home floor.

The Dream travels to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex after a 78-71 loss at home to Las Vegas on Thursday. Monique Billings led the Dream with 21 points in the loss to Vegas, with Tiffany Hayes adding 11. The Dream led by eight points at the half but scored just 23 points over the final two periods.

Atlanta (6-19) has dropped 10 straight games and 13 of its past 14 outings. The losing streak, which began after a 73-69 win at home against New York on June 29, has dropped the Dream into a tie for last place in the league standings with Indiana.

“I’ve just tried to continue to stress that we’ve been right on the brink, and we’re gonna get over the hump,” Dream interim coach Darius Taylor said. “It just comes down to us, you know, being able to lock in in those moments where we need a score-stop-score or a stop-score-stop to finish a game.”

–Field Level Media

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