The Atlanta Dream still seem a ways away from being a serious WNBA contender, but rookie Chennedy Carter might help accelerate that rate of progression.
Following a stellar 35-point effort in her last contest, Carter leads the Dream against the Dallas Wings on Saturday, in a matchup of teams each looking to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The fourth overall pick in this year's draft, Carter entered play Friday second in the league averaging 20.3 points. After scoring 26 in an 81-74 loss to Phoenix on Tuesday, Carter dropped 35 during a disappointing 93-93 defeat to Seattle.
Carter, who went 11 of 17 from the field and made all 10 of her free-throw attempts, is the first rookie in Dream history to score at least 25 points in back-to-back contests. Her 35-point effort ties for the fifth most in league history.
Atlanta (2-4), which last won 84-78 over New York last Friday, trailed 31-16 after one quarter against a Storm squad that's among the best in the WNBA. The Dream fought hard to come back, but moral victories don't help much during this condensed campaign.
Still, with Carter in tow, Atlanta might be headed on the right track after winning a league-low eight games in 2019 and moving on from star Angel McCoughtry - who is now playing for Las Vegas.
"I expect a little more for us," Carter told the Dream's official website. "I went into the locker room and I told our team, that shows how good we really are. We were this close (against Seattle).
"I think when we're all on the same page, we can do something special."
The Dream looked like a rather cohesive unit during their 105-95 season-opening win over Dallas (2-4). Monique Billings had a career-high 30 points with 13 rebounds, Betnijah Laney (17.8 points per game) added 19 points and Carter scored 18 with eight assists as Atlanta shot an impressive 54.8 percent.
Arike Ogunbowale and Allisha Gray each scored 19 and Isabella Harrison posted 18 with 11 boards in that contest for Dallas, which has allowed its most points of the season in that contest.
The Wings, who last won over Indiana last Friday, were roughed up during a 91-68 loss to Connecticut on Thursday. Ogunbowale (19.5 ppg) had 17 points for the Wings, who shot just 38.4 percent from the field and went 8 of 29 from beyond the 3-point arc against the Sun - who won for the first time this season.