Dream beat Sun, clinch WNBA playoff berth

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Erika DeSouza scored 17 points and the Atlanta Dream beat the Chicago Sky 98-74 on Saturday night to clinch a WNBA playoff berth.

Iziane Castro Marques had 15 points for the Dream (19-13), who also snapped a four-game losing streak.

"They decided that that was enough," Atlanta coach Marynell Meadors said. "They came out and played like they have been playing throughout the season, with a lot of enthusiasm and passion for the game. They shared the ball extremely well and played some really good defense."

Atlanta outscored the Sky 31-11 in the second quarter to open a commanding 57-32 halftime lead. It led by as many as 35 points in the second half.

"We made it a little bit difficult to get the shots that they wanted earlier in the game," Meadors said. "Our unit coming in off the bench came in and really defended well. They made it really tough on Chicago to get those shots that they wanted."

The Sky, who were already eliminated from playoff contention, trimmed the final margin with a fourth quarter surge. But the effort wasn't enough to please head coach Steven Key.

"We should be embarrassed for (this) kind of play," he said. "The hard part for us is that we know that's not us as a team. That's not the way we practice, that's not the way we played all season long.

"We owe it to the fans who've come to support us ... to never have a showing like that again."

Chicago center Sylvia Fowles reached topped 1,000 career points early in the opening quarter and closed with 14. She reached the milestone the 8:40 mark with an alley-oop layup after feed from Mistie Bass.

Epiphanny Prince scored 18 points for Chicago (13-18).

Angel McCoughtry scored 13 for Atlanta. Alison Bales and Armintie Price each had 10.