Dallas torched the Atlanta Dream for 101 points in the Wings’ second game of the season May 20.
The Dream will have a chance at redemption Saturday when the Wings visit for Atlanta’s home opener at McCamish Pavilion.
Skylar Diggins-Smith and Liz Cambage combined for 46 points in the Wings’ win over the Dream in Arlington, Texas. The teams combined to attempt 70 free throws in a physical affair.
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“We learned from our mistakes last game,” Dream leading scorer Tiffany Hayes told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We knew that we didn’t match their intensity. We were soft, so they’re definitely going to see a different team when we come and play them.”
Dallas (1-2) failed to build momentum off the win over Atlanta. The Wings fell behind big early to the defending champion Minnesota Lynx on Wednesday and lost 76-68 on the road. Dallas managed only four points in the second quarter, but rallied in the second half behind another solid performance from Cambage in the post. The Australian finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds in only her third WNBA game since returning to the league.
“There’s nothing that can get you ready for this league,” Cambage told ESPN.
Cambage, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 WNBA draft, left the league after the 2013 season to return to Australia. She competed on the Australian national team and in China, before rupturing her Achilles in 2014. She’s still working her way back, but is off to a good start.
The Dream (1-1) also got one its key players back this offseason in Angel McCoughtry, who took last year off. McCoughtry is averaging 11.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in her first two games back in the WNBA.
Atlanta bounced back from the opening loss to the Wings with an 81-63 road win over the Chicago Sky on Wednesday. Hayes had 22 points, Elizabeth Williams scored 11 and McCoughtry 10, but new Dream coach Nikki Collen was most pleased with her team’s effort on the defensive side of the court.
“After giving 101 points up to Dallas in our opener, it was really important for us to really hit first and emphasize defense in this game,” Collen told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I think we really set the tone defensively.”
The Wings won two of the three meetings last season with the Dream.
Hayes is averaging 18 points while Diggins-Smith paces Dallas at 18.3 per game.