Charles, Gray Pace Dream as Sparks Fall to 0–3 on Lengthy Road Trip

Charles, Gray Pace Dream as Sparks Fall to 0–3 on Lengthy Road Trip
Cameron Brink of the Los Angeles Sparks grabs a rebound against the Indiana Fever in Indianapolis on May 28, 2024. (Michael Conroy/AP Photo)
Field Level Media

COLLEGE PARK, Ga.—Tina Charles recorded 20 points and 11 rebounds to help the Atlanta Dream hold off the Los Angeles Sparks 87–74 in WNBA action Sunday, June 16.

Allisha Gray had a solid day as well, pouring in a game-high 25 points, including a fadeaway jumper with two seconds showing on the shot clock as Atlanta stretched its lead to 80–71 with 1:49 left in the game.

Rhyne Howard finished with 16 points and Aerial Powers added 13 for the Dream (6–6), who snapped a two-game losing streak and are 2–0 against the Sparks (4–10) this season.

Rookies Cameron Brink and Rickea Jackson scored 16 points apiece for Los Angeles, which fell to 0–3 on a seven-game road swing. Aari McDonald had 14 points and Dearica Hamby finished with 10.

Howard’s 3-pointer with 6:55 to go put the Dream up 67–66 and Gray’s layup made it 69–66 before Powers knocked down a jumper to stretch the Dream advantage to 71–66 with 6:12 left.

Atlanta led 45–40 at halftime, but Los Angeles went into the fourth quarter with a 61–60 edge. The game was tied at 64 with less than eight minutes to play but Atlanta dominated down the stretch, holding the Sparks to only eight points in the final 7:12.

Charles hit back-to-back jumpers, the second with 4:02 left in the first quarter, as the Dream took a 14–10 lead, resulting in the Sparks calling a timeout. Atlanta led 20–14 after one quarter and Powers drilled an open 3-pointer with 6:35 left in the half as Atlanta grabbed its first double-digit lead at 29–19.

One thing Atlanta did well in the first half was limit Hamby’s impact as a scorer, holding her to only four points. She entered the game with 11 double-doubles this season and averaging nearly 20 points per game. But the Sparks found a way to hang around, closing within five at halftime after McDonald buried a 3-pointer with 11.7 seconds to go.