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The Lynx will be patient with highly touted rookie Diamond Miller, but that means finding more offensive punch from their starting lineup outside of Napheesa Collier.

Collier's 20 points paced the Lynx on Tuesday, but they struggled to finish after she fouled out late, resulting in a 19-point second-half lead squandered in an 83-77 loss to the Atlanta Dream in front of a frustrated crowd of 7,803 at Target Center.

When Collier fouled out with 2 minutes, 23 seconds left to play, Cheryl Reeve's team couldn't figure out which player the offense was supposed to go through in crunch time. In her second regular-season WNBA game, Miller had eight points on 3-for-10 shooting.

"Identity-wise we're still getting to know each other," said Reeve, who watched her squad shoot 5-for-19 from the field and get outscored 24-10 in the fourth quarter.

The Lynx (0-2) fell behind for good when Aari McDonald's three-pointer gave Atlanta an 80-77 lead with 43 seconds left. They went 0-for-6 from the field to end the game after Collier's last basket with 3:14 remaining.

"This game is a tough one because we should've won," Collier said. "Atlanta saw that we were struggling and took advantage of that. But we can't have quarters like that again."

The Lynx's collapse followed their season-opening 77-66 loss to the Chicago Sky on Friday, when they were outscored 22-3 in the second quarter.

Collier scored the first 10 points of the third quarter Tuesday. Miller nailed a turnaround jumper to give the Lynx a 62-43 lead in the second half.

But the Dream (1-1) responded with a 16-2 run. They pulled within eight points entering the fourth quarter, then dominated.

Last season's WNBA Rookie of the Year, Rhyne Howard, was held to eight points on 3-for-12 shooting. But Allisha Gray led Atlanta with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Naz Hillmon scored all of her 13 points in the second half, which contributed to Atlanta's 38 points in the paint.

After missing the opener with a hamstring injury, sixth-year point guard Lindsay Allen picked up her first start since playing for the Indiana Fever in 2021. She finished with eight points on 1-for-5 shooting from the field.

The 1-2 punch of Miller and Collier worked smoothly to start the first quarter, with the players combining for eight points and four assists early. Miller and Collier picked up their second fouls on back-to-back possessions, but the bench combined for 23 points in the first half, including 10 by Aerial Powers.

Reeve chose to play Powers only two minutes in the second half, including zero in the fourth quarter. The Lynx decided to ride with Miller. The 6-3 former Maryland All-America and No. 2 draft pick had a few shots just miss the mark late and missed defensive assignments during the final stretch.

The Lynx will look for their first win this season on the road at Phoenix and Las Vegas, and Reeve said the team is going to continue to invest in Miller.

"I think she's figuring it out," Reeve said. "But then you make a defensive mistake by going to double off of Howard, and they kick it out for three. Things like that, you've got to go through it."