McCoughtry leads Dream past Silver Stars

ATLANTA(AP) Angel McCoughtry showed why she was the No. 1 pick in this year's WNBA draft.

McCoughtry scored a career-high 34 points and had seven rebounds and four assists to help the Atlanta Dream beat the San Antonio Silver Stars 93-87 Thursday night for their seventh win in eight games.

"She was awesome,'' Atlanta coach Marynell Meadors said. "She just did a lot of incredible things.''

Sancho Lyttle added 15 points and Iziane Castro Marques scored 14 for the Dream (14-11), who are second in the Eastern Conference after totaling just four wins in their inaugural season last year.

"It's such an awesome time,'' McCoughtry said. "We are winning and we are yelling as a team. It's good to enjoy the moment.''

McCoughtry, who has started only one game, was 12 for 17 from the floor and topped her previous scoring high by eight points.

"I think I could start her,'' Meadors said, "but I really like the energy she brings when we do put her in off the bench.''

Becky Hammon had 23 points to lead San Antonio (11-14). Ann Wauters scored 21 and Sophia Young added 20.

"We were on our heels all night,'' Hammon said. "I think we have to improve our defense.''

The Dream won easily despite getting no points from leading-scorer Chamique Holdsclaw. The seven-time All-Star, making a comeback this season, played just the first quarter and finished 0 for 3 from the field.

Meadors said that the former Tennessee star wasn't hurt.

"We just rested her,'' Meadors said. "I thought Angel was playing very well and we just left it like it was. ... We have a lot of balance and a lot of depth. We have been very fortunate to have people that will step up at different times. Tonight was Angel's night.''

Atlanta, which is 10-4 at home and 5-1 against Western Conference teams, broke the game open with an 18-2 run in the third quarter, taking an 18-point lead. It was 71-57 going into the fourth quarter.

San Antonio cut the deficit to five points on a three-point play by Hammon with 1:24 left, but Shalee Lehning hit two free throws to ice it for Atlanta.

"You have to give the Dream credit,'' San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said. "They got excellent play off the bench. I though Angel McCoughtry was probably the difference in the game. She attacked in various ways and was very effective.''

McCoughtry scored 13 points in the second quarter as the Dream took a 41-37 lead at halftime. She was 6 for 10 from the floor and 5 for 6 at the line in the first half.

Atlanta went on a 9-0 spurt in the second quarter and led by eight points before San Antonio cut into the margin. Wauters scored 11 first-half points for the Silver Stars.

San Antonio biggest lead was 14-8 after 10 consecutive points. But Atlantas 6-0 run tied it at the end of the first quarter as the Silver Stars shot just 26 percent in the opening 10 minutes.

The Dream conclude their season-high six-game home stand with games against Los Angeles on Sunday and Sacramento on Tuesday. Six of Atlanta's final seven games are on the road.

The Silver Stars host the Sparks on Friday as five of San Antonio's final nine games are at home.

Atlanta beat the Silver Stars 92-84 in San Antonio on Aug. 6.

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