McCoughtry lifts Dream to 93-88 win over Fever
The Atlanta Dream had a modest goal on the last day of the regular season - lock up the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
They got it done with a 93-88 victory over the top-seeded Indiana Fever on Sunday night.
Angel McCoughtry led the Dream (20-14) with 32 points, seven in the fourth quarter when Atlanta broke open a 71-71 tie with a 13-4 spurt.
The Dream kept the Fever (21-13) scoreless for 3 1/2 minutes.
''I thought it was a hard-fought game,'' Dream coach Marynell Meadors said. ''It was a cat and mouse game with the starters. Lin (Dunn) would be two in, I would put two in.''
That's how it went at the start, with the teams separated by no more than eight points in the first quarter. Then the Dream started beating Indiana on the boards.
Early in the second quarter, the Fever had only one offensive rebound - 10 fewer than Atlanta. Midway through the period, the Fever had seven turnovers and just nine rebounds. The Dream countered with 20 rebounds.
''I am disappointed that we did not do a better job on the boards,'' Dunn said. ''You cannot give up 19 offensive rebounds and beat anybody. It's unfortunate because I thought we could steal a game from Atlanta.''
Katie Douglas scored 30 points for the Fever, including 16 points on four 3-pointers in the second quarter. Reserve Jessica Davenport scored 15 points, and Tangela Smith had 14.
Alison Bales scored 15 points, and Lindsey Harding added 13 for the Dream.
''Indiana is a great team,'' Bales said. ''It's always great to beat them. We're looking forward to the playoffs now that we've wrapped it up.''
The Fever played without forward Tamika Catchings for the first time this season. Dunn said it was because of a sprained knee.
''If Catchings could have played, she would have played,'' Dunn said. ''She has struggled with this knee for the last couple of weeks. We knew after the New York game that it was bothering her much more. This was not a situation where we held a player out to rest.''
The Dream will face the Connecticut Sun in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Fever will take on the New York Liberty. Indiana secured home-court advantage throughout the East playoffs with a win against Washington on Wednesday.