ATLANTA (AP) - Dream coach Marynell Meadors was tired of waiting for her team to play their best game of the season. Finally, she got her wish.
Angel McCoughtry scored 24 points, Lindsey Harding added 14 and the Atlanta Dream snapped a two-game losing streak with a 76-68 victory over the Chicago Sky on Saturday night. Armintie Price had 13 points and a season-high 10 assists.
``We had a valuable contribution from a lot of people since we were down to nine players,' Meadors said. ``It was a great team win.'
Sylvia Fowles finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks for the Sky (7-8), who have lost five straight on the road. Cathrine Kraayeveld had 11 points, Michelle Snow added 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Epiphanny Prince also scored 11.
Chicago missed 11 of its first 12 shots, but overcame a 15-point first-quarter deficit by going on a 40-17 run that ended with Kraayeveld's 3-pointer to give the Sky a 42-35 lead with 7:56 left in the third.
However, Courtney Paris' layup put Atlanta (4-9) ahead 56-54 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and the Dream never trailed again.
``We lacked focus, lacked concentration and gave up our opportunities,' Fowles said. ``We weren't getting back in transition. We know Atlanta is a transition team, and they run on offense and have high pass action. They were doing and utilizing all the things we weren't doing.'
McCoughtry, whose steal and ensuing layup with 6:56 left put Atlanta up 62-56, ended a four-game stretch in which she scored no more than 17 points. She averaged 21.1 last year in helping the Dream win the Eastern Conference, but started the season slowly with an injured knee.
``We have been going at such a rapid pace that she hasn't been able to catch up,' Meadors said. ``She is focusing on what we have to do, since we have our back to the wall. We have been trying to get her to play tonight like she did. She was in total control, which was very good to see.'
In the second half, McCoughtry had 16 points, four steals and four rebounds.
``We needed this,' McCoughtry said. ``We have got to keep our confidence up and continue to play hard. If we keep the confidence, I know we can continue to do this. From this point, we just need to work on our chemistry and play together.'
Atlanta had lost four of five and is now 3-5 at home despite playing a ninth straight game without Sancho Lyttle, who didn't dress because of a sore back.
Lyttle averaged 12.5 points and 7.8 rebounds last year, but she's played in only four games this season after spending a month playing for Spain's national team and returning with an aching back July 3.
There were five lead changes entering the fourth, but the Sky never led after McCoughtry's 15-footer forced a 54-54 tie in the opening seconds of the final period.
``I think we really stayed together,' Price said. ``When we made runs, we didn't get too high or too low, so we kept our composure. We put ourselves in a good position to win the game.'
The Dream outscored Chicago 42-22 in the paint, thanks in part to Erika de Souza's 12 points. De Souza and Alison Bales each pulled down eight rebounds.
Chicago coach Pokey Chatman was proud her team fought back from the big deficit, but credited Atlanta with controlling the fourth quarter.
``They made layups a variety of ways tonight,' Chatman said. ``And their prime players stepped up and hit shots.'
The Associated Press News Service
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