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WNBA 2014: Dream make statement with 93-74 win over the Fever

Tiffany Hayes finished with 21 points as the Atlanta Dream sent a message with a 93-74 win over the Indiana Fever to take the season series.

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Dream extended their winning streak to three straight with a 93-74 win over the Indiana Fever and take the season series in the process.

Coming into Saturday's matchup, the Dream and the Fever had split four meetings. However, Indiana had won two straight and were healthy for the first time this season thanks to the return of Tamika Catchings to the lineup. Atlanta was ready for the challenge in what could be a playoff preview for later this summer.

Atlanta led 23-21 after one but blew the game open in the second by outscoring the Fever 32-13 to take a 21 point lead into halftime. The Dream's smothering effort on the defensive end of the court led to a good rhythm offensively. Atlanta held Catchings scoreless in the first half and Indiana to just 37 percent shooting as a team. Indiana made a run in the third quarter but Atlanta was able to keep them at arms length and pull away yet again in the fourth.

From a numbers perspective, Saturday's game might have been one of the best for Michael Cooper's club this season. Atlanta came into the game ranked 11th in three-point shooting in the league at 29 percent. They made 10-18 attempts against Indiana and shot 47 percent from the field overall.

Tiffany Hayes led five different players in scoring with 21 for the Dream. Erika de Souza logged a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Even more impressive for the Dream is that the good offensive performance included a sub par game from their leading scorer Angel McCoughtry who scored all 11 of her points in the first half. Jasmine Thomas also finished with 11 while rookie Shoni Schimmel added 10 off the bench.

Cooper also wasted little time in throwing new acquisition DeLisha Milton-Jones into the rotation. She logged over 17 minutes and finished with seven points and three blocked shots. Catchings led the way for Indiana with 14 points while Briann January added 13.

Atlanta improves to 14-5 on the season and extends their lead over the Fever to five full games. They will finish off a back-to-back on Sunday in Chicago against the Sky.