Dream/Liberty Game 2 Recap
Angel’s WNBA playoff-record 42 points sends Atlanta to WNBA Finals.
by Tracy Weissenberg / @basketballista
Angel McCoughtry had scored 8 points entering the fourth quarter of Game 1 against the Liberty. She would finish the game with 21 and the Dream would come out of Madison Square Garden up one. “I feel like we don’t want to be denied,” said McCoughtry, “We have a goal we’re trying to accomplish. So you can’t worry about your screw ups, mess ups in the first half, first three quarters, you just got to keep playing through it.”
On pulling out a win on the road, McCoughtry said, “It was a great feeling, but we don’t want to get too excited, because we still got work to do.”
Asked about the team’s mentality, McCoughtry said, “We’re hungry. We’re not satisfied, we’re ready.”
*Both teams get off to a hot shooting start, but the Dream attempt nearly twice as many field goals as the Liberty. The Liberty shoot 8-13, while the Dream hit 14-24 shots.
*The Dream are locked in defensively, finishing the quarter with 5 steals, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks.
*Angel McCoughtry scores 12 points on 4-6 shooting, while Cappie Pondexter finishes with 5 on 2-4 shooting. The Dream lead 32-21.
*The Dream have a 16-2 advantage on fastbreak points.
*Both teams score 23. The Liberty do their damage inside with 12 points in the paint. The Dream hit 3-7 three-point attempts.
*McCoughtry adds 7 points and Pondexter scores 12.
*The Dream finish the half up 11, shooting 54 percent. The Liberty shoot 50 percent, but have 9 turnovers and 7 of their shots blocked.
*The Liberty come out strong, making 11-20 field goals for a 29-point quarter.
*The Dream struggle, scoring 18 points on 5-16 shooting.
*Both superstars stay strong, with Pondexter and McCoughtry adding 11 points each.
*The score is 73-73 at the end of three.
*The Dream quickly return to form with a 32-point fourth quarter. The Dream shoot 13-15 from the line compared to 2-2 from the Liberty. McCoughtry and Coco Miller combine for 24 of the team’s 32 points.
*Pondexter scores 8 of the Liberty’s 20 points with no free throw attempts in the fourth quarter. The Liberty make 9-20 field goals and miss all five of their three-point attempts.
*Dream win 105-93 behind a WNBA playoff-record 42 points from McCoughtry and will face the Seattle Storm in the 2010 WNBA Finals.
Fourteen-year NBA veteran and NBA champion Steve Smith knew what it took to win when he played in the NBA. He also knew what it would take for either the Dream or Liberty to win Game 2. Here were his keys.
KEY 1: Liberty must keep dream off free throw line
*McCoughtry made more free-throws (17) than the entire New York Liberty team (16).
KEY 2: Dream must control the glass
*The Dream had a +5 advantage on boards and finished with 12 second chance points.
KEY 3: Angel or Cappie: Who can put the team on her back?
*It’s fair to say both can—and did. Despite 36 points and going 14-27 from the field (3-6 3PT), Cappie’s performance wasn’t enough to overcome Angel’s WNBA record setting 42 points.
From a four-win first season that led to McCoughtry being drafted No. 1 in 2009 to facing the Seattle Storm in the 2010 Finals, how does it feel to have a huge role in the franchise’s fantastic rise? “I feel like I’m gonna be here for a long time,” said McCoughtry, “I just want to build this program up, establish it, make it historical.”
And on the prospect of bringing a title to Atlanta: “It would mean a lot. I feel like the city’s been waiting a long time for a team to really bring something toward the city, get them excited so I think it’s that time right now.”