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Atlanta — The Connecticut Sun has not had much success in Atlanta over the years and moving the game from Philips Arena, the Dream's home court, to the McCamish Pavilion at Georgia Tech did not help the visitors on Tuesday night.
After a competitive start in a game that featured six lead changes and two ties early on, Atlanta went on a 13-3 run over the last 4 minutes, 2 seconds of the third quarter, a barrage that began with a 3-pointer from Shoni Schimmel, and cruised to an 83-71 win over the Sun.
Angel McCoughtry, held to seven points in an 85-76 Atlanta loss at Mohegan Sun Arena back on June 1, had six of her team-high 22 points in that run. By the end of the third quarter, after the Sun had pulled within 54-47 on an Alex Bentley layup prior to the onslaught, Atlanta had a 67-50 lead.
Connecticut (9-11) did not seriously threaten the rest of the night. The Sun are now 2-11 in Atlanta, and have not won there since June 17, 2012.
"I think (Atlanta) controlled the tempo because they played like a team, they celebrated together, and that's one thing that we're trying to do consistently," Connecticut rookie Chiney Ogwumike said. "They did it for 40 minutes; we did it for about 25 minutes. And in the WNBA, you have to play 40 minutes to get a win. They did that and that's how they won."
Ogwumike recorded her eighth career double-double (19 points, 12 rebounds) while Katie Douglas, in her 14th season, became the fifth player in WNBA history to reach 700 career 3s. She hit three more on the way to 16 points and now has 701. The 35-year-old guard has 12 3-pointers in her last three games. Bentley, formerly of the Dream, finished with 19 points for Connecticut.
After snapping a four-game losing streak at Tulsa on Saturday, the Sun were looking to close ground on first place Atlanta (13-5).
Atlanta, however, had a 46-30 edge in points in the paint, converted 21 Sun turnovers (tied for a season high) into 17 points, and shot 50 percent from the field while receiving balanced scoring from its starting five.
"We have to bounce back, we have to get more production out of our post early and we have to focus in on the game plan," Sun coach Anne Donovan said. "Our focus tonight was to take away their transition, take away points in the paint, to not give second shots, and we gave up all those things."
The Sun visit Indiana on Thursday to close out their current three-game road trip.