Wings aim to ride potent backcourt vs. Dream (Jul 8, 2017)

BY AP • July 8, 2017

The Dallas Wings' backcourt duo of Skylar Diggins-Smith and Allisha Gray were too much for Atlanta on Wednesday. Diggins-Smith and Gray combined for 41 points in a 94-84 win over the Dream.

Atlanta (7-8) will be out for revenge Sunday when the Wings visit McCamish Pavilion for a rematch.

Dallas (9-9) is playing some of its best basketball of the season, having won four of five. Diggins-Smith is among the WNBA leaders in scoring, averaging 17.5 points per game.

Gray, Glory Johnson and Karima Christmas-Kelly also are averaging double figures, giving the Wings a balanced and high-powered attack. Dallas is fourth in the league in scoring, averaging 84.7 points.

The Dream also like to push the pace and have a hot point guard coming off a career performance. Veteran Layshia Clarendon dropped a career-high 27 points, 19 in the first half, in the Dream's 89-68 win over the Indiana Fever on Friday.

Atlanta coach Michael Cooper called out Clarendon after the Dream's loss to the Wings, imploring her to do more for her team.

"(Coach) Cooper was riding me before the game, so I think that helped me a little bit," Clarendon said after Friday's win. "He benched me in the Dallas game, because I started with two turnovers, so a little bit of credit to him for riding me. The team goes as I go, and that's a lot of pressure to carry, but it's a big honor too."

Clarendon also had a team-high eight rebounds and six assists in helping give the slumping Dream a needed victory at home. Atlanta had lost four of five before the win over the Fever.

"Layshia Clarendon is an extension of me on the court, and when we're not doing well she catches the brunt of that negative energy," Cooper said after Friday's game. "So I have to give her credit because she established the way we were going to play. Every time she does that, we have a good game.

"She doesn't have to score a lot, but she has to make sure we get into our offense, and I thought she did a great job of that tonight."

The Dream are expected to have forward Sancho Lyttle back in the lineup for Sunday's game. Lyttle, who just returned from international play, took an elbow to the nose against Dallas on Wednesday and missed the Indiana game. Lyttle has been upgraded to probable for Sunday's game.

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