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NaLyssa Smith leads balanced attack as Fever top Dream

NaLyssa Smith scored a team-high 21 points, helping lead the visiting Indiana Fever to a 91-79 win over the Atlanta Dream on Friday.

Smith shot 10-for-17 from the field and added nine rebounds for Indiana (7-10), which won its fourth straight game. Kelsey Mitchell scored 18 points, while Caitlin Clark tallied 16 points and seven assists.

Aliyah Boston finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Katie Lou Samuelson chipped in 10 points off the bench.

Tina Charles led Atlanta (6-8) with 24 points, followed by Allisha Gray’s 19. Haley Jones had 12 points for the Dream, who have dropped four of five. Aerial Powers scored 10 off the bench.

Facing a 16-point halftime deficit, Atlanta began the third quarter on a 16-9 run, capped with Gray’s three-pointer at the 5:18 mark to cut Indiana’s lead to 66-57.

Clark stopped the run with a layup, and later knocked down a stepback 3-pointer to put the Fever up 71-59 with 3:59 remaining.

Up 13, Boston and Smith scored the final four points of the quarter, giving the Fever a 79-62 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Charles and Gray began the fourth with back-to-back buckets for Atlanta to cut the deficit to 79-66, but Lexie Hull’s triple started a 6-0 Indiana run. Naz Hillmon’s three-point play and Charles’ jumper trimmed Indiana’s lead to 85-71, but Atlanta wasn’t able to cut the lead to single digits.

Atlanta shot just 22-of-65 from the field (33.8 percent) and 4-for-18 on 3-pointers (22.2 percent). The Fever connected on 37 of 65 attempts from the field (56.9 percent), including an 11-for-21 mark from long range (52.4 percent). Clark went 4-for-8 from the arc.

In the first quarter, Powers’ triple cut Atlanta’s deficit to 24-23 before Indiana answered with a 9-0 run, jump-started by back-to-back buckets from Mitchell and Samuelson. The Fever led 35-25 after the first.

From there, the Fever opened with a 7-0 run, taking a 42-25 advantage at the 6:58 mark. Jones’ free throw briefly stopped the run, but Clark followed with a 27-foot 3-pointer, giving the Fever a 45-26 lead.

Another Clark triple put Indiana up 48-29 with 4:42 remaining, before four straight free throws from Gray stamped an 8-0 Dream scoring run.

Indiana led 57-41 at the half, led by Mitchell’s 14. Charles had 15 for Atlanta.

–Field Level Media

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