‘Disconnected’ Sky routed by Dream on the road

The Sky trailed by 15 points at the half and saw their deficit balloon to as many as 22 in the fourth quarter before falling 83-65 for their second loss of the season.

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The Sky’s Kahleah Copper dribbles the ball during Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Dream.

The Sky’s Kahleah Copper dribbles the ball during Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Dream.

NBAE via Getty Images

ATLANTA — The Sky searched all game Tuesday for any type of offensive rhythm.

Every time they began to find it, the Dream answered on the other end. Whether it was Rhyne Howard hitting from three-point range, Cheyenne Parker scoring in the post or Allisha Gray driving hard to the rim, they made the Sky pay every opportunity they could.

The Sky trailed by 15 points at the half and saw their deficit balloon to as many as 22 in the fourth quarter before falling 83-65 for their second loss of the season.

‘‘Our antennas were tilted toward the offensive end a little too much,’’ Sky coach/general manager James Wade said. ‘‘Success doesn’t look like that for us. It can’t.’’

The Sky’s inability to establish their offense came as a direct result of their lack of effort defensively. This isn’t a team that relies on its offense to set the tone, but the Sky thought they could do so Tuesday.

After making the first field goal of the night, the Sky (3-2) never regained the lead.

They shot a dismal 28.2% from the field and 12.5% from three-point range in the first half and finished the game shooting 32.5% overall. Dana Evans led the Sky with 11 points, and Kahleah Copper, Marina Mabrey and Kristine Anigwe added 10 apiece.

The Dream’s active defense disrupted the ball movement the Sky are known for, leading to contested looks Wade said his team can’t settle for.

‘‘Some of the shots were open shots, and we just missed,’’ Copper said. ‘‘Then you look at us just taking bad shots. How many contested shots did we take? If we look at other games and we’re moving the ball and playing together, we’re giving up good shots for great shots. We didn’t do that tonight.’’

The Sky’s best attempt at a comeback in the fourth quarter pulled them to 10 points before the Dream ran away with it. They were led by Howard, who finished with 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the field. Gray added 13 points and Parker 10 points and eight rebounds for the Dream, which outscored the Sky 42-28 in the paint.

All game long, the Sky looked a beat behind. No moment painted a clearer picture of their lack of effort on defense than a squandered five-on-three advantage. Aari McDonald and Howard ended up on the floor after getting tangled up in transition, but the Dream still were able to get to the basket.

The Sky forced only nine turnovers and committed 16 of their own. The Dream converted those into 17 points.

‘‘They bullied us a lot,’’ Wade said. ‘‘You have to be ready, physically engaging every game. You can’t take plays off.’’

This was the first time this season Wade said his team flat-out lacked effort, and Copper didn’t disagree.

‘‘We have to put the fire out early,’’ Copper said. ‘‘They got off to a great start. We have to come together early and chip away at it. We got disconnected somewhere, and we had a stretch where we tried to find it. This is also something that’s going to come with us being together.’’

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