McCoughtry, Dream hold off Chicago

ATLANTA - It wasn’t the prettiest of performances, but the Atlanta Dream kept its winning streak alive. Angel McCoughtry tied a season-high with 33 points and Atlanta won its fourth consecutive game, holding off the Chicago Sky 81-79 in overtime Sunday at McCamish Pavilion.

Chicago (8-13), which dropped its fifth straight game but played much better in Atlanta this time around after it was defeated 97-59 at Philips Arena on June 7, had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Sylvia Fowles missed a lay up at the buzzer.

In overtime, McCoughtry had a steal and jumper to put the Dream up 79-78 and at the other end Tamera Young went 1-of-2 from the free-throw line to tie game with 1:06 to play.

Chicago turned the ball over, then Fowles fouled Tiffany Hayes, who got the last of her 17 points on a perfect 2-for-2 trip to the line to make it an 81-79 game. The Sky never got a shot off at the other end, committing the last of their 21 turnovers as the buzzer sounded.

McCoughtry, a fifth-year guard out of Louisville, drained a 3-pointer - her only long ball of the night - to put the Dream (15-5) up 72-68 with three and a half minutes to play in the fourth quarter. That was Atlanta’s last field goal of regulation, while Chicago’s Allie Quigley, who came off the bench to lead the visitors with a career-high 27 points, knocked down a jumper to make it a two-point game. Quigley then hit 2-of-3 shots from the free-throw line to get the Sky to within 73-72 with 38 seconds to play. A shot clock violation by the Dream allowed Epiphanny Prince to hit a free throw and even things up. Atlanta had one of its 18 turnovers on the inbounds play before Fowles came up just short with her lay up attempt.

Atlanta built an eight-point lead with a strong third quarter. McCoughtry had five points, highlighted by an alley-oop lay up off a pass from Celine Dumerc, during an 11-0 spurt that put the Dream up 57-49 with just under four minutes to play in the period.

Atlanta’s lead was 65-59 after a jumper by Sancho Lyttle at the 7:12 mark of the fourth. Quigley knocked down a jumper and Courtney Clements got all four of her points on a bucket and two free throws, which pulled Chicago even at 65-65.

Fowles had a big first half, collecting 13 of her 17 points, and the sixth-year center out of Louisiana State had a three-point play with 6:23 to play in the second quarter that gave Chicago a 34-23 lead.

That capped a 10-2 run and equaled the Sky’s largest opening half lead, but Atlanta got back into the game as the break approached. McCoughtry, who before the game was honored for winning the Eastern Conference player of the month in June, was hit with a technical foul right before Fowles shot her free throw, and that seemed to get McCoughtry and the Dream going.

McCoughtry had nine of her 15 first-half points over the final 5:47, including a steal and lay up with about a minute and a half to go that made it a 44-36 game. Lyttle had a tough putback, which was part of an 11-4, half-ending run the got the Dream to within 46-42 at the half.

The first three minutes of the game belonged to Atlanta, in particular McCoughtry and Hayes, who each had a pair of lay ups to put the hosts up 10-2.

Chicago scored 11 of the next 13 points, which included the first three-point play of the night for Fowles that put the visitors up for the first time at 13-12 with 2:21 to go in the opening quarter.