McCoughtry leads Dream to rout of Sparks

Posted May 30 2010 11:00PM

courtesy of WNBA.com

LOS ANGELES(AP)Angel McCoughtry scored 32 points and Iziane Castro Marques had a season-high 24 points to lead the Atlanta Dream to a 101-82 rout of the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday night.

Sancho Lyttle added 19 points and Erika DeSouza had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Dream (6-0), which remains the WNBA’s only unbeaten team.

“Right now, they’re playing like I expected them to play,” Atlanta coach Marynell Meadors said of her players. “This team was built for speed, quickness and defense. Our scrappy defense has been our trademark all year.”

Candace Parker had 33 points and 12 rebounds for the Sparks (1-4), who matched their start last year after five games, the team’s worst ever. Tina Thompson added a season-best 26 points.

“We just came out flat in the second half,” Parker said. “Unfortunately, it’s becoming a trend that we have to fix quickly. Defensively, we weren’t playing with a lot of heart or a lot of effort.”

The Sparks, who led by nine points in the first five minutes, held a 52-51 lead when the Dream used a 12-4 surge to move ahead 63-56 with 2:59 left in the third quarter. Castro Marques led the rally with six points.

“Our defense got us easy transition points,” McCoughtry said. “That got us excited. Then we just scored at will.”

Los Angeles narrowed the deficit to 63-59 but McCoughtry and Castro Marques each scored five points during a 10-2 spurt that extended Atlanta’s lead to 73-61 at the end of the third quarter.

“If we play from our defense,” McCoughtry said, “I don’t think anybody can beat us.”

Parker said that defense overwhelmed the Sparks.

“We knew that they wanted to run but we weren’t getting back in transition,” Parker said. “So we were in the middle of no-man’s land, not crashing the boards and not getting back in transition.”

Next up for the Dream, a visit to Seattle to face the first place Storm (5-1).  Check out game on ESPN2 at 9:30pm.


The Atlanta Dream team are off to a superb 5-0 start so far this season, their latest victim, the defending champion Phoenix Mercury on Friday night.  What has made this Dream team so good five games into the season? Four of their five starters average double digits in scoring led by future all-star Angel McCoughtry’s 22 pts, 5 rpg and 4 assists per game.  Sancho Lyttle and Erika de Souza are strong in the paint with their physical play, averaging 15 pts, 11 rpg and 13pts, 11 rpg respectively.

Next up for Atlanta, the always dangerous LA Sparks (1-3) in LA on Sunday, May 30th @ 8pm.

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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