Published June 28, 2013
| Associated Press
ATLANTA – Angel McCoughtry scored 21 points and the surging Atlanta Dream improved their WNBA-leading record to 9-1 with an 86-75 victory over the Washington Mystics on Friday night.
Erika De Souza finished with 12 points and nine rebounds for the Dream, off to their best start in team history. Alex Bentley had 17 points, and Tiffany Hayes added 13.
Washington scored the game's first 10 points, but the Dream tightened up defensively. Atlanta got more active on defense and cut down on allowing easy baskets, holding the Mystics to 35.1-percent shooting from the floor in the first half.
The Dream maintained the same intensity on defense in second half, taking advantage of Washington's miscues by playing the passing lanes more aggressively.
McCoughtry stripped Matee Ajavon from behind, coasting for a layup to give Atlanta a 45-30 lead in the third quarter.
De Souza scored on a put-back layup to give Atlanta a 61-41 lead later in the quarter.
Bentley surpassed Diana Taurasi's mark for most consecutive 3-pointers when the rookie from Penn State knocked down her 10th straight shot from beyond the arc with 12.5 left in the third. Taurasi has held the record since 2006.
The 5-foot-7 Bentley made another highlight, slipping past a defender and scoring on a buzzer-beating layup at the end of the third. The Dream took their largest lead of the game at 21 when Hayes knocked down a 3-pointer with 4:34 left in the game.
Monique Currie scored 20 points for the Mystics (4-6). Ivory Latta and Emma Meesseman each had 12 points.
Bentley scored seven points during a 9-2 run to give Atlanta an 18-16 lead in the first half. The Dream went on a 10-0 run to open the second quarter that was capped by Le'Coe Willingham's layup to put them ahead 30-20 with 4:35 left.