Fever Can't Catch Up to Dream
|STAR OF THE GAME
Catchings scored 15 points in the first half, including a 3-pointer to close the second quarter. She led the Fever with 24 points for the game. Catchings also finished the game with six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Catchings is now just one steal short of 700 for her career.
Despite playing with a sore left finger, Douglas made some shots to put the Fever in position to make a run and close the gap. Douglas finished with nine points and has made at least one 3-pointer in all but one game this season. Douglas also added three assists and three steals.
"We got into a hole in the first quarter. We came out lethargic, missed shots and turned the ball over. We canít give people those easy baskets. We canít get that far behind and expect to win."
"You have to keep in mind, Atlanta is a very good team. They are playing at a very high level. Theyíre playing with a lot of confidence and their bigs really hurt us. They hurt us inside and they hurt us in transition."
Points in the paint:
Fever 12, Dream 46
Fever 11, Dream 11
Fever 6, Dream 18
Points off turnovers:
Fever 17, Dream 22
Fever 48, Dream 72
Fever 26, Dream 18
ALANTA (AP) - Iziane Castro Marques had 22 points, Angel McCoughtry scored 20 and the Atlanta Dream took over first place in the Eastern Conference with a 90-74 victory over the Indiana Fever on Sunday.
It was the fourth victory in a row for the Dream (18-9), which improved to 10-2 at home. Erika DeSouza scored 16 points, and Sancho Lyttle had 13 points and eight rebounds for Atlanta.
Tamika Catchings scored 24 points for Indiana (16-9), which lost consecutive games for the first time since starting the season 0-2. The Dream shot 50.7 percent while the Fever made just 34.8 percent.
Atlanta took over first place in the Eastern Conference with a 90-78 win at Philips Arena. It was the Dreamís fourth straight win and the Feverís second straight loss. The Dream leads Indiana in the East standings by one game.
Turnovers and Atlantaís interior presence resulted in 6-of-31 shooting inside the paint for Indiana and 22 points off turnovers for the Dream. Atlanta shot 51 percent for the game compared to 35 percent for the Fever. Atlanta led by 10 after the first quarter and the Fever never threatened. The Dream took a 14-point lead into the intermission and Indiana never got closer than 10 in the second half. The Dream led by as many as 20.
It was the Feverís largest margin of defeat since a 22-point loss to Minnesota on June 7, 2009.
Indiana beat the Dream by 19, 89-70, at Conseco Fieldhouse, on June 16. With Sundayís loss, the season series is tied 2-2 with both teams winning on their home floors. The Fever hosts Atlanta next Friday, Aug. 6, to decide the series.
Tamika Catchings scored a game-high 24 points while adding six rebounds, three assists and three steals Ė but she was Indianaís only player in double figures. Iziane Castro-Marques paced the Dream with 22 points. Angel McCoughtry had 20 including 10-of-10 free throw attempts. Erika deSouza had 16, Sancho Lyttle added 12.