McCoughtry, de Souza lead Dream past Lynx
ATLANTA (AP) Angel McCoughtry scored 23 points, Erika de Souza had 16 points and 11 rebounds and the Atlanta Dream held off the Minnesota Lynx 85-82 on Friday night.
The Dream had lost 12 of their last 13 games against the Lynx, including sweeps in the 2011 and 2013 WNBA Finals. However, Atlanta (6-3) sealed its third straight victory when McCoughtry grabbed a defensive rebound, was fouled by Maya Moore and hit an ensuing free throw with 2.8 seconds remaining.
Lindsay Whalen finished with 22 points, Janel McCarville had a season-high 18 and Seimone Augustus scored 17 for Minnesota (8-2).
Moore, the finals MVP last season, had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Sancho Lyttle added 10 points and 12 rebounds, Tiffany Hayes finished with 15 points and Jasmine Thomas had 13 as Atlanta’s five starters each scored in double figures.
The Lynx, who began the season with six straight wins, gave up the lead for good when Thomas’ layup made it 11-10 midway through the first quarter and trailed by 20 late in the second.
Trailing by 17 to begin the third, the Lynx trimmed the lead to nine on Whalen’s second straight jumper at the 6:29 mark.
But McCoughtry pushed the lead to 61-46 with consecutive 3s, and the Dream led by 13 entering the fourth.
Minnesota cut the lead to 77-74 on Tricia Liston’s 3 with 5:06 remaining, and a pair of free throws by Moore made it 82-80 at the 1:58 mark.
After McCoughtry hit an 18-footer with 42.8 seconds to go for an 84-80 lead, Augustus’ 14-footer made it 84-82, but the Lynx’s last field-goal attempt fell into McCoughtry’s hands on Whalen’s missed runner.
Thomas hit her first three attempts beyond the arc and had 11 points in the first half. Her 3 from the right side made it 45-26 late in the second quarter.
Atlanta took the game’s biggest lead at 20 on McCoughtry’s free throw with 2:05 left in the second. The Dream were up 50-33 at halftime as de Souza had 13 points and eight rebounds and McCoughtry scored 12 points.
Dream reserve guard Shoni Schimmel finished with two assists to become just the sixth WNBA rookie to have at least 52 through first nine games of her career.