Atlanta Dream Squeak Past Indiana Fever

The Atlanta Dream solidified their grip on the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference after escaping with a hard-earned 86-80 win over the Indiana Fever on Sunday in Indianapolis.

Angel McCoughtry displayed the firepower that she is known for as she racked up 20 points, while Lindsey Harding added 17 points and seven assists with both of them making crucial plays down the stretch to help the Dream improve to 15-13, a game behind East third-place holder New York Liberty.

“It was really a hard fought game,” Dream coach Marynell Meadors. “Both teams played aggressive and physical. It was a tuneup for the playoffs. Our young players grew up. I was pleased with our composure and poise.”

The two teams went toe-to-toe in the final period, but the Dream prevailed as Harding, who played for the entire game, sank a go-ahead basket with 37 seconds left in the game and a crucial conversion from the free-throw line to give Atlanta the moral-boosting win.

“I feel really good and it was a great win for us,” said Harding, who shot 8-for-11 from the field. “We almost gave it away in the third quarter. We knew they were going to come out in a full court press, so we were ready for them.”

Tamika Catchings led the Fever with her 22 points, while Tangela Smith and Katie Douglas added 15 and 14 points, respectively, but it was not enough as they dropped to 19-9 but are still on top of the Eastern Conference race.

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