Atlanta Dream's Rhyne Howard sets WNBA record in playoff debut

Howard was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 draft


ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 15: Rhyne Howard #10 of the Atlanta Dream dribbles the ball during the game against the Dallas Wings during round one game one of the 2023 WNBA Playoffs on September 15, 2023 at the College Park Center in Arlington, TX. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

Playoff Rhyne Howard is here.

Howard, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft, showed the league she belongs on the big stage on Friday during the Atlanta Dream's playoff match vs. the Dallas Wings.

In Game 1 of their first-round matchup in Dallas, Howard finished the night with 36 points, the most ever in a WNBA playoff debut. She also dropped 19 of those in the first quarter, the most in league history in the opening period.

Howard, 23 years old and an All-Star in 2022, shot 13-for-29 overall, 8-for-15 from deep and 2-for-2 from the foul line along with four rebounds, three steals and two assists.

But despite the solid production, Atlanta fell 94-82 as the Wings trio of Satou Sabally, Arike Ogunbowale and Teaira McCowan soared for a combined 73 points.

The previous record for most points in a WNBA playoff debut belonged to Candice Dupree, who recorded 32 points in the Phoenix Mercury's 106-93 Game 1 win vs. the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2010.

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