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Catchings, Douglas lead Fever past Dream, 94-91

Jun 20, 2010 - 3:47 AM INDIANAPOLIS(AP) -- The Indiana Fever capped a big week with another home win against one of the WNBA's top teams.

Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas scored 17 points each to lead the Fever to a 94-91 victory against the Atlanta Dream on Saturday night. Indiana, which beat Connecticut on Sunday and league-best Seattle on Thursday, won for the sixth time in seven games.

"It was a really big week for us," said Catchings, who added seven rebounds and six assists. "When you beat two great teams, such as Seattle and Atlanta, it's definitely a confidence builder."

Indiana (8-4) moved one-half bgame behind Atlanta in the Eastern Conference and knocked the Dream (9-4) percentage points behind the Sun (7-3).

"When we play our style of defense, have each other's backs on offense and have everything kicking, there's not many teams that can hang with us," Catchings said.

Tammy Sutton-Brown had 16 points and Ebony Hoffman scored 12 for the Fever, who led Atlanta by as many as 17 points and evened a 66-62 loss to the Dream earlier this season.

Sutton-Brown scored her 3,000th career point and became the fifth player in WNBA history to also have 1,500 rebounds and 400 blocks. Lisa Leslie, Margo Dydek, Lauren Jackson and Tangela Smith are the others.

"It only took me 10 years to get here," Sutton-Brown joked. "With all the great talents they have in this league, it's definitely a great honor to be on that list."

Angel McCoughtry and Iziane Castro Marques each had 21 points, and Sancho Lyttle added 20 points and 20 rebounds for the Dream, who had numerous chances in the fourth quarter to tie the game or take the lead.

"It was an extremely hard-fought game," Atlanta coach Marynell Meadors said. "Both teams played hard. Indiana hit a lot of big shots with the shot clock winding down. They showed why they're the defending Eastern Conference champs."

After trailing by 14 points in the third quarter, the Dream pulled to 81-79 on Lyttle's two free throws with less than 6 minutes left. Hoffman answered with an off-balance 3-pointer to beat the shot clock on Indiana's ensuing possession.

"That was definitely a highlight," Catchings said. "She'll probably talk about it for the rest of her life. At that point, you just have to throw it up there and hope it goes in."

Atlanta kept battling, getting to 91-89 on McCoughtry's 3-pointer with 1:22 left. The Dream had a chance to tie or take the lead, but Castro Marques' pass was intercepted by Catchings with 10 seconds remaining. Douglas then hit two free throws to push the lead back to four points.

"All game they got us on that play," Catchings said of the steal. "We would come off the post, they'd dish it and hit a layup. For me, it was like, 'OK, I'm right here. I'm playing the four. I'm not leaving, I know what they want to do.' She dished it off and I just happen to be right there."

Castro Marques hit two free throws with 7 seconds left, and Hoffman answered with one. Shalee Lehning's 3-point attempt at the buzzer was no good for the Dream.

"If we would have controlled turnovers and rebounds, we would have won," McCoughtry said. "We have a target on our back. We have the best record in the East. We have to come out and be more disciplined."

The Fever shot 51 percent from the field in the opening half and took their biggest lead, 51-34, on Catchings' two free throws late in the second quarter. Indiana's 55 points tied its highest scoring first half in team history.

Atlanta chipped away in the third quarter, getting to 74-69 on Lyttle's two free throws to end the period. The Dream shot 60 percent in the quarter, compared to Indiana's 33 percent.

"We knew they were going to come out of the locker room more aggressive, more focused," Sutton-Brown said. "They jumped on us."

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