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Recap: Wheeler’s late bucket lifts Fever past Dream 61-59

The Indiana Fever were able to hold off a late run by the Atlanta Dream to prevail in a low-scoring affair. Indiana was led by All-Star Erica Wheeler (15 points, 5 steals) and rookie Teaira McCowan (10 points, 14 rebounds).

Atlanta Dream v Indiana Fever
All-Star MVP Erica Wheeler continued her strong play, leading Indiana with 15 points and hitting the game-winning shot.
Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

The Indiana Fever broke a five-game losing streak on Wednesday, winning a close, low-scoring game against the visiting Atlanta Dream. Erica Wheeler led Indiana with 15 points while Elizabeth Williams scored 17 for Atlanta.

Offense was at a premium in this one. Atlanta shot just 28.9 percent from the field and Indiana wasn’t much better, at 30.8 percent. Both teams turned the ball over a combined 30 times and missed a total of 12 free throws.

In the not-so-distant past, a grind-it-out game like this one might have favored Atlanta but it was the Fever who were able to get key stops and muster just enough late offense to win. Fittingly, it was Wheeler — fresh off being named 2019 All-Star Game MVP — who sealed the deal for Indiana.

Outside of Wheeler’s clutch play, there weren’t many performances to write home about. Neither team eclipsed 20 points in any quarter. While Atlanta briefly took a late one-point lead after trailing by as many as 13, its discombobulated backcourt could not deliver enough firepower to hold it. Renee Montgomery, Tiffany Hayes and Brittney Sykes combined to shoot just 6-for-31 from the floor. After six straight losses, the Dream have a 5-16 record — the worst in the WNBA.

At 7-15, Indiana isn’t much better. Interestingly, though, this was Indiana’s sixth win against teams currently in the bottom third of the standings. The Fever are now a combined 6-1 against Atlanta, Dallas and New York. Indiana is 1-14 against everyone else.

Both teams play their next games on Saturday, August 3. Indiana will stay at home and welcome the Minnesota Lynx while the Dream will head back to Atlanta and play the Chicago Sky. Both contests will be featured on WNBA League Pass.