‘Offline’ Sky defeated by Dream on the road

ATLANTA — The Sky searched throughout Tuesday’s game for any kind of offensive rhythm.

Every time they started to find it, the Dream would respond on the other side. Whether it was Rhyne Howard hitting from three-point range, Cheyenne Parker scoring in the post or Allisha Gray driving hard to the rim, they made Sky pay for every chance they could.

The Sky trailed by 15 points at the half and saw their deficit grow to 22 in the fourth quarter before falling 83-65 in their second loss of the season.

“Our antennae were tilted too much to the attacking side,” Sky coach/general manager James Wade said. “Success doesn’t look like that to us. Can not.”

Sky’s inability to establish their offense was a direct result of their lack of defensive effort. This is not a team that relies on their offense to set the tone, but Sky thought they could do it on Tuesday.

After making the first field goal of the night, Sky (3-2) never regained the lead.

They shot a dismal 28.2% from the field and 12.5% ​​from three-point range in the first half and finished the game shooting 32.5% overall. Dana Evans led the Sky with 11 points, and Kahleah Copper, Marina Mabrey and Kristine Anigwe each added 10.

The Dream’s active defense interrupted the ball movement the Sky are known for, drawing questioning looks that Wade said his team can’t settle for.

“Some of the shots were open shots, and we just missed,” Copper said. “So you look at us just taking bad shots. How many contested shots do we take? If we look at other games and we’re moving the ball and playing together, we’re giving up good shots for great shots. We didn’t do that tonight.”

Sky’s best attempt to come back in the fourth quarter brought them to within 10 points before the Dream ran away with it. They were led by Howard, who finished with 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the field. Gray added 13 points and Parker 10 points and eight rebounds for the Dream, who outscored the Sky 42-28 in the paint.

Throughout the game, the Sky seemed to be a bit behind. No moment painted a clearer picture of their lack of effort on defense than a blown five-on-three lead. Aari McDonald and Howard ended up on the floor after tangling in transition, but the Dream was still able to get to the basket.

Sky forced just nine turnovers and committed 16 of their own. El Sueño converted them into 17 points.

“We were very intimidated,” Wade said. “You have to be ready, physically committing to every game. You can’t take away the plays.”

This was the first time this season that Wade said his team lacked effort, and Copper didn’t disagree.

”We have to put out the fire early,” Copper said. “They got off to a great start. We have to come together early and undermine it. We got disconnected somewhere, and we had a stretch where we were trying to find it. This is also something that will come with us being together.”