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Dream continues to pad record at Fever’s expense

Oct 10, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; A view of the offical game ball during the second half of game one of the 2021 WNBA Finals between the Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Nia Coffey had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Rhyne Howard contributed 16 points in a 75-66 win over the visiting Indiana Fever on Sunday.

Aari McDonald had 12 points and Cheyenne Parker finished with 11. Erica Wheeler had five steals.

Indiana, which has lost eight of its last nine games, was led by Kesley Mitchell’s 20 points, but she had six of the Fever’s 21 turnovers.

Atlanta (7-4) has won the first three games of its regular-season series with Indiana (3-10). The Dream host the Fever in the fourth and final game Aug. 3.

Indiana took advantage of nine turnovers by Atlanta in the fourth quarter, trimming a 19-point second-half deficit to 72-66 with 57.7 seconds left on Mitchell’s driving shot in the lane.

Mitchell had 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Atlanta committed 22 turnovers in the game.

The Dream started cold from 3-point range missing all seven of its attempts in the first half.

The Dream led 29-26 at halftime as both teams had trouble with their shooting. Indiana shot 23.5 percent from the field while Atlanta was at 32.4 percent.

The Fever finished shooting 34.8 percent from the field and Atlanta 43.3 percent. The Dream made 4 of 8 shots from beyond the arc in the second half, including two by Howard.

Atlanta outscored Indiana 8-1 to close the first period to build a 17-9 lead, but the Fever responded by scoring the first six points of the second quarter.

The Dream still couldn’t pull away from Indiana after taking a 23-15 lead as the Fever rallied to close to a 27-26 deficit with 2:05 left in the half.

Atlanta again made a surge in the third quarter to take a 40-31 lead with 5:54 remaining after Howard made a pull-up jumper and 3-pointer on consecutive possessions.

The Dream built their lead to 49-35 with 3:24 left in the third quarter behind McDonald making a 3-pointer and two free throws.

After Indiana cut the lead to 52-41, the Dream went on a 9-1 run capped by Parker’s 3-point play with 32.7 seconds left in the third quarter.

–Field Level Media