INDIANAPOLIS(AP) Just when it looked like the Indiana Fever's winning streak was in jeopardy, Tammy Sutton-Brown took over.
Indiana's center scored seven of her 22 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Fever past the Atlanta Dream 78-74 on Sunday for their franchise-best eighth straight victory.
Sutton-Brown went 7 of 14 from the field, made all eight of her free throws and grabbed nine rebounds for the Fever (8-2), who avenged a season-opening loss to Atlanta to remain the WNBA's best team.
"Tammy has been playing phenomenal the last couple games, not just tonight,'' said Indiana forward Tamika Catchings, who added 19 points, nine rebounds and six steals. "It seems like she's getting fire in her. She needs to play like that every game.''
Trailing by one entering the fourth quarter, Indiana went on an 8-0 run to take a 66-59 lead. Sutton-Brown scored seven of the points, including an acrobatic shot while falling.
"If she plays like that, it takes pressure off everybody,'' Catchings said. "When she does her job down low, she's able to get easy baskets for herself and the rest of the team.''
Atlanta, which held a five-point lead in the third quarter, got within 76-74 on Angel McCoughtry's layup with 19 seconds left. Following Tully Bevilaqua's free throw, however, Jennifer Lacy's 3-pointer came up short.
"We never got rattled,'' Indiana coach Lin Dunn said. "In crunch time, our defense stepped up.''
In the fourth quarter, the Dream shot 31 percent and made all four of their free throw attempts. Indiana shot just 21 percent, but made 14 of 17 free throws.
"We are very focused right now,'' Sutton-Brown said. "Defense is our staple and we feed off it. We work on it every day in practice.''
Sancho Lyttle had 18 points, and Erika de Souza and McCoughtry each scored 15 for the Dream (5-7), who lost for the third time in four games.
"We had too many turnovers at critical points,'' de Souza said. "I think our lack of experience has hurt us, but we are improving with each game.''
The win was extra sweet for Indiana, which lost to the Dream 87-86 in double overtime on June 6.
"From the first game to this game, they're a totally different team and we're a totally different team,'' Catchings said. "It was a huge challenge for both teams, but thank God we came out on top.''