The Atlanta Dream opened their 2012 WNBA regular season with a 92-84 loss to the Indiana Fever. The start certainly wasn't what head coach Marynell Meadors was looking for as the Dream struggled with their perimeter defense.
Atlanta fell behind 28-20 in the opening quarter and then were held to just 12 points in the second. The Fever took a 47-32 lead into the half. Indiana stretched the lead out to as many as 17 in the fourth quarter before a late Atlanta run closed the gap to make the final score respectable. The Fever however closed the Dream out at the free throw line to secure the victory.
Angel McCoughtry led all scorers with 26 points in 9 of 19 shooting. She also added seven rebounds and four steals to her credit. Sancho Lyttle started at center and finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Lindsey Harding chipped in 16 points and six assists. No other Atlanta player scored more than six. Turnovers were a big part of the story for Atlanta as they wracked up 19 in the game.
Katie Douglas led five Indiana players in double figures with 21 points. Douglas hit 6 of 11 shots from the field including 3 of 4 from beyond-the-arc. Reigning WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings finished with 16 points while Jessica Davenport added 12 points and 10 boards. Briann January and Shevonte Zellous each scored 11 for the Fever.
Coming into the season the Dream were looking for a much better performance out of their defense particularly from the perimeter. Atlanta hired assistant coach Joe Ciampi during the offseason with hopes that they could improve defensively. Indiana hit 12 of 21 three-point attempts in this game signaling that Atlanta's defensive changes are still a work in progress.
Notes: Center Yelena Leuchenka suffered a concussion earlier this week in practice and sat out Saturday's season opener. She is listed as day-to-day. This meeting was the first since Atlanta ended Indiana's 2011 season defeating them 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals.