Thursday, May 31, 2012
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Photo: Craig Cappy Atlanta Dream's Armintie Price (22) drives against Phoenix Mercury's Alexis Hornbuckle (14) in Thursday's game at Philips Arena.
ATLANTA -- Sancho Lyttle and Catherine Kraayeveld scored 12 points each to lead five Atlanta players in double figures Thursday night and the Dream rolled to an 81-65 victory over the Phoenix Mercury, who played without star guard Diana Taurasi.
Taurasi, the defending scoring champion and the 2009 WNBA MVP, is out indefinitely with a strained left hip flexor and did not travel with the team. She was injured during training camp and has played in only two games.
Angel McCoughtry, Armintie Price and Lindsey Harding all added 10 points for the Dream (2-2).
DeWanna Bonner had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Mercury (1-3) and Candice Dupree added 14 points.
Atlanta regained its offensive momentum after struggling in a 78-62 loss to Indiana on Sunday when it attempted only 45 field goals, a franchise-record low, and had only two points from its reserves.
Without Taurasi, Phoenix lacked the scorers to keep pace with Atlanta. Charde Houston replaced Taurasi in the starting lineup and had two quick baskets as the Mercury trailed only 19-16 after one quarter.
Kraayeveld had consecutive baskets, including a 3-pointer, in a 14-1 run that helped the Dream pull away in the second quarter. McCoughtry banged her left knee with 8:07 remaining in the half and left a minute later after missing two free throws. She sat out the remainder of the half.
McCoughtry returned with the knee wrapped for the start of the second half.
Atlanta took a 73-58 lead following back-to-back 3-pointers by Laurie Koehn.
Phoenix started launching 3s in its comeback attempt. Samantha Prahalis had three 3-pointers and Bonner also hit a 3 -- all in the final quarter. The Mercury cut the lead to 75-63 but Kraayeveld, who led Atlanta with nine rebounds, padded the lead with another 3-pointer.
Price had six rebounds and six assists.