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Atlanta Dream head to All-Star break on three-game win streak

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

WASHINGTON -- Angel McCoughtry scored a season-high 33 points to lead the Atlanta Dream to an 86-79 victory over the Washington Mystics on Wednesday.

"Before the game, I was thinking how I heard Michael Jordan say one time, he always picked his spots before the game -- and that's what I did," said McCoughtry, who will play in Sunday's WNBA All-Star Game. "I picked my spots where I would probably hit the most shots."

Visualizing shot locations before a game isn't a regular strategy for the Atlanta forward, who focused on a few areas just below the free-throw line.

"Maybe I need to do it before every game," said McCoughtry, who also set season highs with 10 field goals, 11 free throws made and 17 free-throw attempts.

The Dream won their first road game since June 14, when they beat the New York Liberty before going on a three-game road skid.

Atlanta went on a 6-0 run down the stretch to seal the victory, getting baskets from Sandora Irvin, Armintie Price and Lindsey Harding, before the Mystics began intentionally fouling.

The game's other All-Star, Crystal Langhorne, had 24 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Mystics, and Marissa Coleman added 21 points, including 5-of-8 shooting on 3-pointers. Nicky Anosike grabbed 14 rebounds, but was held to five points after torching Atlanta for 29 points in a victory June 9.

Matee Ajavon added 12 points, and Jasmine Thomas had 10 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, for Washington.

Langhorne made her first five shots, all inside the arc, before missing a 3-pointer. She made all six of her two-point attempts in the first quarter, scoring 14 points and grabbing four rebounds in the period.

Atlanta's Harding scored 14 points, Price added 12 and Alison Bales finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.

The Dream hosted the Indiana Fever on Tuesday, didn't arrive in the Washington area until 10 p.m. Tuesday and dressed just eight players for Wednesday's game, which started at 11:30 a.m. to accommodate the Mystics' annual youth camp day.

"The biggest thing we had to fight against was our fatigue," said Dream coach Marynell Meadors, who will coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars on Sunday.

The Mystics beat the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday, but haven't won back-to-back games since Aug. 20 and 22. It's the WNBA's second-longest consecutive-win drought behind the Tulsa Shock.

"They have a huge heart," Washington coach Trudi Lacey said of her team. "They play so hard. They're disappointed, but like I told them, the mental mistakes just have to stop in order for us to win these close games."