The Atlanta Dream secured their 15th victory of the season Sunday following a 82-73 win over the Indiana. Photo by Meghan Hall/The Atlanta Dream

The Atlanta Dream secured their 15th victory of the season Sunday afternoon following a 82-73 win over the Indiana Fever.

Following Thursday’s loss to the Phoenix Mercury, Dream head coach Tanisha Wright said the team needs more focus and intentionality. She was disappointed with their efforts and challenged them to figure it out. “You got to have some heart,” said Wright. “It’s hard for me because I’m so competitive and was competitive as a player. When you watch your team not have a competitive spirit and nature, that’s just hard.”

It’s a back-and-forth grind with the Indiana Fever and rookie star Aliyah Boston, but Cheyenne Parker shows no fear as she leads the charge early in the first quarter for Atlanta. Her teammates take her lead and kick their aggression into high gear. Forward Nia Coffey is having a breakout season in Atlanta, and her activity on both sides of the floor forces a timeout with under 5 minutes to play after a steal and a bucket on the other end. Rhyne Howard comes out of the break with five points, and, perhaps the lighting to her thunder, guard Aari McDonald attacks downhill, splitting the Indiana defense. Behind seven points each from Allisha Gray, Coffey, and Howard, the Dream go up 23-18.

As the second quarter arrives, the Fever are scrambling to keep up. The Dream continue attacking via Parker and Coffey, but Fever guard Erica Wheeler answers the call for her team, ruthlessly knocking down shots from beyond the arc. McDonald picks up the opportunity to switch gears for Atlanta and attacks downhill with blistering speed. Next, Gray shows off her aggression and zooms to the basket, earning free throws. The Dream take that momentum into halftime with a 43-34 lead.

The story of the third quarter is truly the gritty work of Paker, Gray, and Howard. They push the pace and create lanes for the offense to flow through. As Coach Wright is feverishly (pun intended) pointing to Gray about being mindful of her attention to detail, Howard understood the assignment, knocking down back-to-back three’s that ignite the Dream on both ends of the floor. The rest of the team follows suit and fends off the push by Indiana trading buckets with the team. The Dream create 19 points off turnovers and head to the fourth up 62-50.

Boston attempted to take over the game as the fourth quarter opens with back-to-back baskets in the paint. The Dream assembled to answer, creating a back-and-forth struggle, but Gray has her own plans. With under five minutes to play and Atlanta’s lead cut to three, Gray swats a ball into oblivion and then takes matters into her own hands with a huge basket that turns the heat up in the game. Howard unleashes two more buckets, and with 45 seconds remaining in regulation, Parker shuts the door with a timely basket that sends Fever fans for the exits. Despite 25 points from Boston, Howard, Gray, and Parker shone with 61 total points.