Uncasville, CT – Lindsey Harding led a balanced attack with seeded Atlanta Dream used a strong seeded Connecticut Sun, 89-84, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Angel McCoughtry added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the defending conference champion Dream, who went 20-14 in the regular season. Erika De Souza donated 16 points and nine boards.
Armintie Price finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Atlanta, which lost to the Storm in the WNBA Finals last year. Sancho Lyttle, who signed a multi-year contract earlier Friday, had 13 points and 11 boards.
Asjha Jones and Renee Montgomery had 16 points apiece for the Sun, who went 21-13 in the regular season. Tina Charles was held to 12 points and seven rebounds.
Trailing by five, 68-63, early in the fourth quarter, the Dream went on a 16-6 run to take the lead for good. Harding tallied five points during the spurt, which Price capped with a layup for a 79-74 edge with 3:56 to play.
The Sun got to within one, but Harding made a layup and Lyttle connected on two free throws to make it a five-point contest with 67 seconds left.
Atlanta went 4-of-6 from the line in the final 20 seconds to seal the victory.
Game 2 of this best-of-three series is scheduled for Sunday in Atlanta.