Posted: Tuesday, October 2nd 2012 at 8:52pm
Dream's season comes to an end in playoffs
By The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS -- Katie Douglas scored 24 points and Erlana Larkins had 16 points and 20 rebounds to help the Indiana Fever beat the Atlanta Dream 75-64 on Tuesday night and advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
Tamika Catchings added 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks and Briann January also scored 16 points for the Fever, who recovered from a Game 1 loss at home to win the best-of-3 series against the two-time defending Eastern Conference champions.
Indiana will next face Connecticut in the opener of the East finals on Friday night.
Lindsey Harding led Atlanta with 17 points. Angel McCoughtry, the league's scoring leader in the regular season, had 16 points - just two in the second half - and Sancho Lyttle added 10.
The Fever outrebounded the Dream 46-25 and held them to 37 percent shooting.
Indiana led 54-51 at the end of the third quarter. A 3-pointer by Douglas pushed Indiana's lead to 61-53 with 8:17 remaining and forced Atlanta to call timeout. January's jumper less than 40 seconds later pushed the Fever's margin to 10.
Atlanta started to make a charge, but on one play, McCoughtry and January went after the ball. January undercut McCoughtry, and McCoughtry was issue a technical foul for swatting the ball out of January's hands after the play. Douglas made the free throw to push Indiana's lead to 66-59. The Fever pulled away by holding the Dream scoreless for more than five minutes until Harding hit a jumper to cut Indiana's lead to 75-61 with 58 seconds to go.
McCoughtry's 24-foot 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left in the first half tied the score at 39 at the break.
Douglas, who scored 16 points in the first two games combined, had 16 at halftime for the Fever and Larkins had 10 points and 10 rebounds at the break. It helped overcome the normally efficient Fever's 12 turnovers.
Indiana led for most of the first half, but the miscues, including 7-for-12 free-throw shooting, kept Atlanta in the game.
Indiana took a quick 45-41 lead in the second half and forced Atlanta to call timeout.
Catchings hit a 3-pointer and a jumper out of the timeout to make it 50-43.
Indiana led by three points end of the third quarter, an ugly 10 minutes filled with turnovers and uncalled fouls.
Indiana pulled away by holding the Dream to 6-for-18 shooting in the fourth.
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