Atlanta Dream force game three in Eastern Conference finals series against the Indiana Fever
Even without starting center Erika de Souza the Atlanta Dream handily defeated the Indiana Fever 94-77 in game two of the WNBA Eastern Conference finals on Sunday afternoon.
Playing on their home court, the Dream went with a smaller lineup, inserting Iziane Castro Marques in a starting position instead of one of its backup centers, Alison Bales and Courtney Paris. De Souza is in South America competing in an Olympic qualifying tournament for her home country Brazil.
The teamâ€™s leading scorer, Angel McCoughtry came into game with a lower points per game average in the playoffs than in the regular season due to her foul trouble in the conference semifinals and game one of the conference playoffs.
Key players from both teams got into foul trouble early on including Indiana post Tangela Smith. The Dream led after the first quarter 34-25. They held onto their lead going into break, 55-51 after the Fever went on a run and managed to close the gap.
During the second half Indianaâ€™s starters had trouble making baskets including team scoring leader and the 2011 WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings. And with about five minutes left in the game, Catchings came down hard on an ankle and had to be carried off the court. She did not return to the game.
For Atlanta, Castro Marques had post-season career high of 30 points, nearly four times her season average of 7.6 points per game. McCoughtry finished with 27 points and four rebounds.
Game three of the best-of-three series takes place Tuesday in Indiana. Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel is giving away 250 tickets to game three to the first 250 fans who greet him at the Conseco Fieldhouse Box Office on Monday, Sept. 26 at noon. Fans that still remain after vouchers are gone may take advantage of a 2-for-1 ticket offer, good until 2:00 p.m. CT, for Kreig DeVault Club Level seats which are priced at $12. The 2-for-1 offer allows two tickets for $12.