Angel McCoughtry vs. Sky to keep Dream’s season alive
Angel McCoughtry was determined to make sure the Atlanta Dream weren’t done in the WNBA playoffs.
McCoughtry scored 39 points, and the Dream beat the Chicago Sky 92-83 on Sunday night to even their Eastern Conference semifinal series at one game apiece.
Game 3 is Tuesday in Atlanta, with the winner moving into the Eastern Conference finals against Indiana.
”I just wanted to will the team to win,” McCoughtry said. ”I wanted the ball in my hands and I wanted to take over the game. Luckily I hit a good percentage (65 percent) of my shots and my teammates gave me the ball and trusted me with it.”
Tiffany Hayes added 15 points for top-seeded Dream, and Jasmine Thomas had nine points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Elena Delle Donne scored 22 points for the Sky, who won 80-77 in the series opener at Atlanta on Friday. Allie Quigley had 20 points, and Epiphanny Prince finished with 19.
Chicago closed to 68-65 on Tamera Young’s driving layup, but Atlanta responded with an 8-1 spurt. Hayes’ 3-pointer with 6:50 left gave the Dream a 76-66 lead.
The Sky pulled within six with 36.5 seconds to go, but their rally fizzled from there.
Sylvia Fowles added 14 points for Chicago, which had a 39-36 rebounding edge.
”(McCoughtry) set the tone early and put her team on her back and you can’t have that,” Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. ”We have to regroup, watch the video. I don’t think there’s a lot of adjustments we have to make as a matter of Xs and Os. It’s a matter of making sure from the beginning we set the tone.”
McCoughtry was 13 for 20 from the field and made 13 of 14 foul shots. She had 19 points in the first half, helping Atlanta to a 44-43 lead at the break. She also helped limit Delle Donne to 0-for-5 shooting from the field in the second half.
The Dream opened a nine-point lead on Sancho Lyttle’s 16-foot jumper with 5:01 left in the third. McCoughtry pushed the advantage to 62-51 with a baseline drive.
The Sky went 3-2 against the Dream during the regular season. They had won three in a row against Atlanta.
Earlier Sunday, Quigley earned WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year honors after she averaged 11.2 points, nearly 7.5 points more a game than she had last season.
Quigley garnered 26 votes from a 38-member national media panel of sportswriter and broadcasters. San Antonio’s Jia Perkins was second with six votes.