Dream use balanced attack to defeat Mercury

Cheyenne Parker collected 21 points and 12 rebounds to fuel the visiting Atlanta Dream to an 85-75 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday.

Parker made 10 of 13 shots from the floor to match her season-high point total, set during Atlanta’s 90-76 win over the Seattle Storm on July 3.

Tiffany Hayes recorded 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the Dream (11-14) snapped a three-game losing skid.

Erica Wheeler had 14 points, seven boards and seven assists as Atlanta overcame the absence of All-Star rookie guard Rhyne Howard, who sat out her second straight game due to a right shoulder injury.

Diana Taurasi scored 23 points on Sunday after pumping in 29 points in the Mercury’s 80-75 win over the Washington Mystics on Thursday.

Shey Peddy collected 16 points, six rebounds and a team-high five assists, and Sophie Cunningham added 11 points and nine boards for Phoenix (11-16), which has lost four of its last six games.

Wheeler answered Cunningham’s 3-pointer with two straight shots from beyond the arc to give the Dream a 76-73 lead with 3:34 remaining in the fourth quarter. The teams traded baskets before Parker calmly sank a hook shot, Aari McDonald drained a 3-pointer and Wheeler added a mid-range jumper to push Atlanta’s advantage to 85-75 with 37.4 seconds remaining.

Cunningham sank a 3-pointer to level the contest at 51-51 with 6:10 remaining in the third quarter before the Dream answered with a 9-2 flourish. The Mercury chipped away at their deficit, with Peddy’s 3-pointer just before the buzzer cutting Atlanta’s lead to 64-63 at the end of the quarter.

AD Durr drained a pair of 3-pointers nearly two minutes apart to stake the Dream to a 39-32 lead with 5:51 left in the second quarter. Hayes added a free throw before the Mercury scored nine of the final 10 points to forge a tie at 41-41 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

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