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Angel McCoughtry pours in career-high 39 as Atlanta staves off elimination

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Angel McCoughtry tallied a career-high 39 points as the Atlanta Dream defeated the Chicago Sky 92-83 in Game two of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Aug. 24. With the win, the Dream evens up the series with Game three set for Aug. 26, in Atlanta.

I just wanted to will the team to win,'' McCoughtry said. ''I wanted the ball in my hands and I wanted to take over the game. Luckily I hit a good percentage (65 percent) of my shots and my teammates gave me the ball and trusted me with it.''

McCoughtry was 13 for 20 from the field and made 13 of 14 foul shots. She had 19 points in the first half, as Atlanta took a 44-43 lead at the break.

The Dream started to put a little distance between them and the Sky third quarter. Sancho Lytle, who finished with eight points, put Atlanta up by nine with a 16pfoot jumper at the 5:01 mark. McCoughtry pushed the advantage to 62-51 with a baseline drive.

Chicago closed out the third period on a 9-6 run to cut the deficit to 68-60. The Sky closed to 68-65 on a driving layup by Tamara Young. But Atlanta responded with an 8-1 spurt that ended with a Tiffany Hayes' 3-pointer with 6:50 left that gave the Dream a 76-66 lead. The margin was back to six with under a minute to play, but McCoughtry sank two late free throws and Sylvia Fowles was whistled for a costly moving screen.

Atlanta shot 64.5 percent from the field in the second half and 53.0 percent for the game.

Tiffany Hayes added 15 points for top-seeded Dream, and Jasmine Thomas had nine points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Elena Delle Donne led the Sky with 22 points but was held without a field goal in the second half (0-of-5). WNBA sixth woman of the year Allie Quigley contributed 20 points while Epiphanny Prince finished with 19 and Sylvia Fowles added 14.