ATLANTA (AP) - Lindsey Harding scored 20 points and Angel McCoughtry came off the bench to add 15, leading the Atlanta Dream to a 71-64 win over the Indiana Fever on Wednesday night.
Tiffany Hayes added 12 points and Sancho Lyttle 10 for Atlanta, which has won three straight under new coach Fred Williams as it tries to keep pace in the Eastern Conference. The third-place Dream are three games behind the Fever in the East and five back of Connecticut.
McCoughtry was playing her second game since a two-game suspension for violating an unspecified team rule. She scored 18 of her 24 points in the fourth quarter Sunday in an 87-870 win over the Sun.
``When there is adversity, the best thing is to come together,' said Harding, who was 7 for 15 from the field. ``We're coming together as a team to compete for a championship.'
The Dream, the two-time defending conference champions, struggled for much of the season before beating the Sun and rallying past Indiana.
Atlanta (15-13) trailed 52-48 after three quarters, but Harding scored 12 points in the final period and Hayes added six to help the Dream snap Indiana's win streak at four.
Katie Douglas hit five 3-pointers and scored 23 points for Indiana (17-9). Tamika Catchings added 13 points and nine rebounds. In the previous meeting between these two teams on Aug. 18, Douglas scored a season-high 29 points and went 7 for 9 from long range in an 86-72 win for the Fever.
``I was having nightmares of the last game up there,' said Williams, who is 3-1 as Atlanta's head coach. ``We're changing everything; we're settling in.'
The Fever controlled much of the first half and built their biggest lead when Douglas made a pair of free throws with 2:08 left in the second quarter to make it 32-21.
Atlanta closed the half with an 8-0 run, however, keyed by two turnovers and a blocked shot by Dream center Erika de Souza to close to 32-29 at intermission.
The Dream kept the momentum early in the second half, and de Souza's putback gave the home team a 35-34 lead with 6:50 left in the third quarter.
Douglas hit back-to-back 3s to give the Fever a 45-42 lead and by the end of the third quarter Indiana led 52-48. But Douglas missed her final four 3-point tries.
The Dream made just 1 of 16 from 3-point range in the game, but was helped by a 7-for-10 showing at the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
``We expected Atlanta to come out and play at a high level since they are dealing with adversity, and fighting for their playoff lives,' said Indiana coach Lin Dunn. ``I thought Atlanta was real aggressive and real physical, and we handled it poorly.'
The Associated Press News Service
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