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Billings’ career-best outing helps Dream defeat Wings

Monique Billings scored a career-high 30 points for the hot-shooting Atlanta Dream in a 105-95 victory against the Dallas Wings in the season opener for both teams Sunday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Billings, a forward, made 10 of 14 shots from the field and went 10-for-12 at the foul line while pulling in a game-high 13 rebounds. Teammate Elizabeth Williams made all seven of her attempts from the floor on the way to 17 points.

Betnijah Laney’s 19 and Chennedy Carter’s 18 points were also boosts for the Dream, who scored the game’s last eight points. Shekinna Stricklen, buoyed by four 3-point baskets, racked up 16 points.

Atlanta made 30 of 34 free throws.

Billings, a third-year pro, had a previous career-high total of 16 points in a game last July. She also had a game-high two blocked shots in Sunday’s game.

Arike Ogunbowale and Allisha Gray scored 19 points apiece for the Wings, who also received 18 points and 10 rebounds from Isabelle Harrison. Tyasha Harris had 13 points and Satou Sabally supplied 11 points.

The Wings relied on perimeter scoring, hitting 13 of 28 shots from 3-point range. However, they missed their final five shots, including four from 3-point range.

Dallas reserves held a 35-5 scoring edge but it wasn’t enough.

Atlanta had difficulty pulling away.

The Dream appeared to regain control with five straight points midway through the fourth quarter, building a 93-81 edge. The Wings responded with six points in a 25-second span, resulting in an Atlanta timeout with 3:14 left.

Dallas was within 97-95 before Atlanta’s Williams scored from the lane with 1:25 to go. Billings then sank two free throws with 47 seconds to play to expand the margin.

The Dream shot 63.6 percent (21-for-33) in the first half yet led only 53-49 at the break.

Gray and Harris, both reserves, both had 11 points in the first half for Dallas.

–Field Level Media

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