Marques, DeSouza lead Dream past Shock 80-75
By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr., Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA(AP) The Brazilian tandem of Iziane Castro Marques and Erika DeSouza is helping the Atlanta Dream move closer to reaching the playoffs after a woeful inaugural season.

Marques scored 16 points and DeSouza had 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Dream to a 80-75 win over the Detroit Shock on Thursday night.

"It's all about us continuing to play hard,'' said DeSouza, who used Marques as a translator. "We got to keep playing hard. If we do, then everything will fall into place.''

The Dream (12-11) beat Detroit for the third time this season, ending the Shock's two-game winning streak.

Atlanta, who lost a league-record 30 games last year, now have sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference standings behind Indiana and Connecticut. The Shock, who are defending WNBA champions, fell to sixth place.

Marques said the Dream need to take advantage of their next four games at home and pull away in the standings.

"It's all about us staying focus,'' she said. "We can make a move with the next few games at home.''

Chamique Holdslaw had 14 points for Atlanta, while Sancho Lyttle added 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Deanna Nolan led Detroit (9-12) with 20 points, but shot 7 of 25 from the field. Katie Smith, who fouled out late in the fourth quarter, finished with 17 points and Cheryl Ford added 15 points.

Coach Marynell Meadors said Marques' defense on Nolan was key.

"She just worked hard on her tonight, staying with her and putting her hand in her face to force tough shots,'' Meadors said. "Izzy does so much for us.''

Detroit coach Rick Mahorn said the Dream's surge at the beginning of the fourth was the turning point.

Angel McCoughtry, who finished with 11 points, scored Atlanta's first seven points of the quarter, including a 3-pointer to give them a 63-62 lead.

"They made shots,'' Mahorn said. "She had a couple of steals and a 3-ball. They made a good run.''

Kara Braxton's layup put Detroit ahead 69-68 with just over 3 minutes left in the fourth. But the Dream answered with seven straight points to pull away for good.

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