Angel McCoughtry's 27 points help surging Dream overcome Mystics

Atlanta -- Angel McCoughtry scored 18 of her season high-tying 27 points in the second half Wednesday to rally Atlanta past Washington 83-73 for the Dream's fifth straight win.

She finished 7 for 12 from the field in the second half and keyed a 14-0 fourth-quarter run with six points and three rebounds.

The Mystics (5-7) led much of the first three quarters. Washington, the least effective 3-point shooting team in the league, went 7 of 10 from beyond the arc en route to a 39-34 halftime lead.

But the Mystics went cold for nearly 6 minutes in the fourth quarter under stiffer defensive pressure, and the Dream (8-3) took advantage.

"We (made) them stop shooting, got in their faces," McCoughtry said. "We would rather let them have 2s than 3s, so that kind of helped us."

Atlanta held Washington to 1 of 7 shooting from 3-point range in the second half.

"I think our defense just stepped up a little bit; we started getting up on the shooters," Dream coach Michael Cooper said. "We changed our pick-and-roll (defense) from one to another, and it really helped."

Tiffany Hayes added 11 points for Atlanta, and Erika de Souza scored 10 and grabbed eight rebounds.

Mystics rookie point guard Bria Hartley led her team with 16 points and forward Emma Meesseman added 15.

Mystics rookie Stefanie Dolson, who scored eight points on 4 of 5 shooting in 20 minutes, pushed the lead to 66-63 on a runner with 7:37 left in the game. But the visitors went scoreless over the next 5:49.

McCoughtry's 11-foot fadeaway jumper from the left baseline with 6:39 left gave Atlanta the lead for good, 67-66.

While Atlanta reached a season low from 3-point range (1-for-7), the Dream outscored the Mystics inside 48-28 to take a two-game lead over Connecticut in the Eastern Division.

Washington went 3 for 4 at the free-throw line, while the home team was 20 for 23, including 7 of 7 by McCoughtry.

"When the free throw difference is 23-4, it's hard to make up for it," said Washington coach Mike Thibault, whose team lost for the fifth time in six games. "They were aggressive, drove well . . . they upped the aggression with the pressure, and we did a bad job responding."