The Atlanta Dream's match up Tuesday night with the Indiana Fever has all sorts of playoff implications for both teams involved. With an Atlanta victory and a New York Liberty loss, the Dream would find itself in third place in the Eastern Conference. If Indiana wins, then the Fever would become the first team in the East to lock up a playoff spot which would be their seventh consecutive trip to the post season.
Atlanta has defeated the Fever in both match ups this season, most recently with an 86-80 victory in Indiana on Saturday. Angel McCoughtry scored 20 points in that game which was her fifth consecutive game reaching the 20 point plateau. She continues to be second in the league in scoring with a 20.4 average. However, it was point guard Lindsey Harding who delivered the decisive blow in Saturday's victory.
"We dug ourselves into a hole in the first half," said Indiana coach Lin Dunn, whose team has lost two of three. "We played much better in the second. We matched their intensity in the second half. At the end of the day, Lindsey Harding was the difference."
For Atlanta, their success this season has relied on their defense and whether or not McCoughtry can get any help in the scoring department. Saturday, Harding was the difference as she logged the entire 40 minutes in the game and scored seven of her 17 in the fourth quarter. With Shalee Lehning out with an ACL injury, Atlanta has few options behind Harding.
Atlanta is looking for its third straight win tonight and has defeated Indiana four straight times at Philips Arena. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and will be televised locally on SportSouth.