May 26, 2016

After a successful start in their new home, the Dallas Wings look to continue their fast start Friday when they host the Atlanta Dream.

In their first season following relocation from Tulsa and sporting a new nickname, the Wings (3-1) are proving they're capable of building on their first winning season in seven years. In front of a sellout crowd at Texas-Arlington - halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth - they held off the San Antonio Stars 82-77 on Saturday night.

''I was a little jittery at first, but it wore off as the game wore on,'' said Dallas native Odyssey Sims, who got off to a fast start with a pair of 3-pointers in the opening five minutes and finished 11 of 12 at the foul line while totaling 23 points.

Sims' ability to penetrate into the lane is a key part of Dallas' offense. Though the Wings are 10th in the 12-team league with 80.8 possessions per 40 minutes, they are fourth with 102.2 points per 100 possessions.

In the three victories, Sims made 31 of 33 free throws, and 26.7 percent of the Wings' points have come from the foul line. It's also offset some of Sims' shooting woes - she's 17 of 51 from the field thus far.

The good news for Sims is that backcourt partner Skylar Diggins is getting closer to 100 percent. Limited to just nine games last year after tearing her ACL, Diggins made her debut Saturday and logged 12 minutes.

While she scored only one point and missed both her shots from the field, it's a huge step forward for a Wings team trying to improve on last year's third-place finish.

''You can plan as much as you want to plan,'' said Diggins, who played with a knee brace. ''At the end of the day, the knee has a mind of its own and you've just got to just roll with the punches. I was just happy to be out there again and really happy we got the win.''

Atlanta (3-1) likely will try to speed up Dallas - the Dream lead the league with 88.5 possessions per 40 minutes but are tied with the Wings in scoring at 82.5 points per game. Angel McCoughtry scored all 15 of her points in the second half and overtime Tuesday when Atlanta rallied to an 85-79 victory at New York.

Tiffany Hayes contributed 27 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for the Dream, who have scored at least 85 points in their last three games.

"We all attacked the rim, we got to the basket and made our free throws," Hayes told the Dream's official Twitter account. "We stayed together, especially in the overtime. ... Our defense was great and that's definitely what coach (Michael Cooper) wanted from us."

The road team won both games last year, with the Dream winning 98-90 at Tulsa as McCoughtry had 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

You May Like