Crystal Dangerfield racked up 23 points as the Minnesota Lynx fended off the Atlanta Dream for an 88-79 victory as the WNBA returned to action Friday night at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Napheesa Collier's 19 points and 12 rebounds were key, while Odyssey Sims poured in 17 points off the bench and Bridget Carleton had all nine of her points in the first half for Minnesota (10-4).
It was the league's first game since Tuesday night as all games the next two days were called off in an attempt to bring attention to concerns about racial and social injustice after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wis.
Betnijah Laney's 22 points paced Atlanta (3-12), which has lost 11 of its last 12 games. Courtney Williams added 17 points, Elizabeth Williams posted 12 points and 10 rebounds, Blake Dietrick chipped in 11 points and Monique Billings had 10 points.
The Dream trimmed a 15-point deficit to 73-67 with a 9-0 spurt that occurred in less than 90 seconds in the fourth quarter. Minnesota had enough answers, including four straight points from Damiris Dantas to push the margin to 83-73 with about two minutes remaining as the Lynx won for the fourth time in the last five games.
The Dream had a scoring drought of more than 2 1/2 minutes down the stretch.
This was a rematch of Sunday's 78-75 victory for the Dream, which overcame a 14-point deficit in that outing. Neither team had played since then.
Dangerfield was 9 of 10 on free throws, helping overcome Minnesota's 25-percent shooting (7 of 28) on 3-pointers.
Like in the first quarter, the Lynx started strong in the second quarter, using a 13-4 burst across a stretch of less than four minutes. Dangerfield had seven points in a three-minute span and then had another five-point minute as Minnesota extended its lead to 45-33.
The Dream battled back, but Dangerfield's jumper in the final second of the half gave the Lynx a 51-43 edge at the break. She had 16 points at halftime.
Collier scored nine points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field in the game's opening five minutes, but the teams were even at 25-25 after the first quarter. Laney also had nine points entering the second quarter.
WNBA all-time rebounding leader Sylvia Fowles of the Lynx didn't play because of a calf injury, and she has now missed more than a week of action.