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Holdsclaw, Lyttle lead Atlanta past Mystics

Courtesy of the Associated Press | 7/4/2009, 10:27 a.m.

ATLANTA (AP) -- Chamique Holdsclaw scored 18 points, and Sancho Lyttle added 16, helping the Atlanta Dream snap a two-game losing streak with a 72-65 victory over the Washington Mystics on Friday night.

Alana Beard had 16 points for Washington, which has dropped three of four and missed its first nine 3-point attempts before Matee Ajavon hit two straight in the final 2 minutes. The Mystics began the game with the WNBA's third-best percentage beyond the arc at 39.4.

A sprained left ankle has sidelined Washington's Marissa Coleman, who still leads the rookie class with a 12.7 scoring average, for the last eight games.
The Dream, who had lost four of five, forced Washington into 28 turnovers, a season high for the Mystics that resulted in 23 points. After winning just four games as an expansion team last year, Atlanta improved to 5-6 this season.

Beard's runner at 1:54 of the third quarter cut the lead to four, but the Dream went on a 14-1 run that ended when Michelle Snow's 10-footer made it 64-47 with 5:49 remaining.

Atlanta's Angel McCoughtry, who ranked fourth among rookies with a 9.4 average, finished with 14 points in a reserve role.

Lindsey Harding finished with 11 points for the Mystics. Crystal Langhorne added 10.

Holdsclaw, who added eight assists, had a steal and a fast-break layup to give the Dream a nine-point lead with 7:10 left in the third period. She added a 16-footer a minute later to make it 46-37.

The Mystics fell to 3-1 this season when outrebounding opponents. They had 40 boards, led by Chasity Melvin's nine. Atlanta finished with 29 rebounds.

Beard, who was 7 for 16 from the field, had three assists and six turnovers.

Earlier Friday, the Dream revamped their backcourt, signing Ivory Latta and waiving Nikki Teasley. Latta started 31 of 34 games for Atlanta last year, averaging 11.4 points, 3.6 assists and 1.2 turnovers.