Atlanta Dream Guard Rhyne Howard Sets WNBA Playoff Record with 36 Points in Debut
Atlanta Dream guard Rhyne Howard made history in her playoff debut by scoring 36 points, setting a new WNBA record. Despite Howard’s impressive performance, the Dream fell to the Dallas Wings with a final score of 94-82. Here’s everything you need to know about this record-breaking game:
Breaking the Record
Howard surpassed the previous record held by Candice Dupree, who scored 32 points during her playoff debut with the Phoenix Mercury in 2010. This achievement solidifies Howard’s place in WNBA history and showcases her exceptional talent and scoring ability.
A High-Scoring Game
The first-round game between the Atlanta Dream and the Dallas Wings was a high-scoring affair. It marked only the fifth time in WNBA postseason history that two players scored 30 or more points in a single game. Alongside Howard’s record-breaking performance, Wings forward Satou Sabally finished with an impressive 32 points.
At just 23 years old, Howard became the youngest player in WNBA history to score 30 or more points in a playoff game. Her remarkable performance showcases her skill and potential as a rising star in the league. ESPN Stats & Info highlighted this achievement, further solidifying Howard’s place in basketball history.
Howard Carried the Dream
In her first playoff game, Howard proved that she was ready to lead the Atlanta Dream. From the beginning of the game, she attacked the basket and showcased her scoring prowess. Howard’s ability to score in transition and knock down shots from beyond the arc made her a constant threat on the court. Dallas struggled to contain her, resulting in a 19-point first quarter for Howard and a 20-point lead for the Dream.
Sabally’s Impressive Performance
While Howard stole the show with her record-breaking performance, Satou Sabally of the Dallas Wings also had an outstanding game. Sabally’s aggressive perimeter defense and ability to disrupt passing lanes made her a force to be reckoned with. She finished the game with 32 points, nearly matching Howard’s scoring output. Sabally’s performance played a crucial role in the Wings’ comeback and eventual victory.
Despite Howard’s incredible performance, the Atlanta Dream couldn’t hold on to their lead. This game highlighted a troubling trend for the Dream, as they have struggled to maintain leads throughout the season. Atlanta blew multiple double-digit leads during the regular season, and this trend continued in the playoffs. The Dream must find a way to hold on to their leads and secure victories to avoid elimination in future games.
Rhyne Howard was selected by the Atlanta Dream with the first pick in the 2022 draft. After missing the playoffs in her rookie season, Howard has become a key player for the Dream. This record-breaking performance is a testament to her growth and development as a player. Throughout the regular season, Howard averaged 17.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game, showcasing her versatility and impact on the court.
While the Atlanta Dream faced a disappointing loss in their first playoff game, they still have an opportunity to bounce back in Game 2. They must address their issues with holding on to leads and find ways to counter the Dallas Wings’ strong offensive performance. With Rhyne Howard leading the way, the Dream have a chance to turn things around and make a deep playoff run.
In conclusion, Rhyne Howard’s record-breaking performance in her playoff debut has solidified her place in WNBA history. Her 36-point game showcased her scoring ability and established her as a rising star in the league. Despite the Atlanta Dream’s loss, they have an opportunity to regroup and make a comeback in future games. With Howard leading the way, the Dream’s playoff journey is far from over.