Atlanta, GA, United States (4E Sports) – Angel McCoughtry scored Atlanta’s last six points as the Dream held off a late comeback by defending champion Indiana Fever en route to an 84-79 victory in Game 1 of the WNBA Eastern Conference Finals Thursday at Philips Arena.
After the Fever closed in at 78-75 behind a three-pointer by Shavonte Zellous, McCoughtry completed a three-point play off a foul by Karima Christmas for an 81-75 lead with 1:07 left.
Tamika Catchings buried a triple to make the game more interesting but McCoughtry split her charities for a four-point cushion with 16 ticks remaining on the clock.
The Fever had a chance to pull it off but Catchings split her charities and Briann January missed a 13-foot jumper.
Jeanette Pohlen fouled McCoughtry with five seconds left. She then buried two foul shots to seal the victory for the Dream.
Tiffany Hayes led the Dream with 23 points on 8-for-14 shooting, McCoughtry finished with 18 points, five boards and five assists, Armintie Herrington had 16 points, seven boards, five dimes and four steals while Erika de Souza had 10 points for the Dream.
Catchings scored 21 points on 6-for-12 shooting and grabbed seven boards while Shavonte Zellous, Erlana Larkins and Christmas contributed 15 points apiece for the Fever. Larkins also had 12 boards and four blocks.
Overall, the Dream shot 32-for-60 for 53.3 percent and had 24 rebounds, 20 assists and 11 turnovers.
The Fever, for their part, made 28 of 58 attempts for 48.3 percent with 31 boards, 18 assists and 16 turnovers.
The Dream go for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.