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Prince leads Sky to 87-82 win over Dream

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) - The Chicago Sky moved closer to earning the top overall seed in the WNBA playoffs.

Epiphanny Prince made sure of that.

Prince scored 16 of her season-high 29 points in the final quarter to lift the Chicago Sky to an 87-82 win over the Atlanta Dream in a meeting of the Eastern Conference's top teams Friday night.

The Sky need to win at Western Conference-champion Minnesota on Saturday in their regular-season finale to earn the top overall seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

``We feel like these games are preparing us for the playoff atmosphere,'' said Prince, who was 9 of 16 from the field. ``We had a lot on the line, so we wanted to go out there and gut it out.''

The Sky (24-9) have clinched the Eastern Conference's top seed for their first playoff appearance and went 14-3 at home.

``This is amazing that we're able to get in this place,'' said rookie Elena Delle Donne, who scored 18 points. ``It's going to be a great game to prepare us for playoffs. It's good to play with those nerves.''

Angel McCoughtry, the WNBA's leading scorer, had 29 points and Tiffany Hayes added 12 for Atlanta (17-16), the conference's No. 2 seed. Erika DeSouza had 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Sylvia Fowles had 12 points and 18 rebounds for her 16th double-double for the Sky, who overcame a nine-point deficit in the third quarter.

The Dream led 65-62 after three quarters. Fowles' layup put the Sky ahead 78-76 with 3:14 left. Prince then hit a jumper for an 80-76 lead with 2:05 remaining.

After McCoughtry made two free throws to cut the lead to 80-78 with 1:08 left, the Sky went 7 for 8 from the line to seal the win.

Prince shot 5 of 6 from the field in the fourth quarter. She has averaged 22.5 points in her last four games.

``It feels good,'' she said. ``I have confidence in myself again. Whatever the defense is giving me, I take it.''

The teams were tied after the first quarter, and the Sky clung to a 45-44 halftime lead.

After leading by three after three quarters, the Dream shot 4 of 19 from the field in the final quarter.

``I remember asking them to get three defensive stops,'' Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. ``This is gutcheck time. We're at home. We're trying to create an opportunity to play for something special.''

The Sky shot 45.9 percent from the field while Atlanta made 40.5 percent of its shots.

The Sky have won three straight and nine of 10. The Dream have lost three straight and seven of 10 and fell to 4-12 on the road.

``Prince really stepped up in the fourth quarter for them, made some big shots,'' Atlanta coach Fred Williams said. ``We still fought hard and tried to attack the basket and make things happen. We came out empty on some of those possessions.''

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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