The Atlanta Dream completed a two game sweep of the Connecticut Sun with a 69-64 victory at Philips Arena. Atlanta trailed 51-44 entering the fourth quarter before using an 11-1 run to overtake the Sun and claim the victory. The win advances Atlanta to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second consecutive season where they will play the winner of Monday's match up between Indiana and New York.
Atlanta struggled offensively for most of this game with leading scorer Angel McCoughtry being held scoreless until midway through the third quarter. Lindsey Harding's lay up with 3:26 gave Atlanta a 58-57 lead which they never relinquished. Harding finished with 12 points and six assists in just over 38 minutes of action. After the game, Harding talked about Atlanta's confidence down the stretch of close games.
"We know we aren't going to blow anyone out in the playoffs. If we are close down the stretch in the fourth quarter, I feel comfortable getting our team in our sets to hopefully score. In the beginning we weren't knocking down our shots but we hit them in the end."
Angel McCoughtry, Erika De Souza, and Sancho Lyttle all finished with 12 points each. De Souza also grabbed a team high 10 rebounds while McCoughtry finished with nine. The Dream shot 36 percent from the floor but made that up by scoring 20 points off of 17 Connecticut turnovers.
Asjha Jones led the Sun with 15 points while Tina Charles finished with 13 points and 17 rebounds. Renee Montgomery also finished in double figures with 10 points. Slowing down Charles was a priority for the Dream and Atlanta bigs Erika De Souza and Allison Bales made things tough on her in both Atlanta victories.
"Tina is a great player and you can't take anything away from her skill set. She's developed a wide range of shots. If you help off of her, she's going to knock down the shot" said coach Meadors after the game. "Our post players were very physical which pushes her out on the floor. That's what we try to do and she wasn't able to post up that much. Erika and Ali did a good job pushing her out on the floor so she had face-up shots."
With the victory, Atlanta earns some much needed time to rest as they wait to see who they will face in the Eastern Finals which open on Thursday.
For more on the Atlanta Dream and the WNBA Playoffs, be sure and check out SB Nation's women's hoops blog Swish Appeal.