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updated: 8/23/2011 11:25 PM

Turnovers continue to hurt Sky

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Turnovers have plagued the Chicago Sky all season.

So it wouldn't be shocking if they derailed the Sky's plans for the postseason as well.

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The process probably has already started.

The Sky was jockeying with the Atlanta Dream for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings Tuesday night at Allstate Arena.

The top four teams in the East will make the playoffs, and a win would have put the Sky in a tie with Atlanta for that final spot with seven games left.

But that nasty little demon (turnovers, of course) reared its ugly head again at precisely the worst time.

It came in the form of bad passes, careless decisions, silly mistakes, you name it, while the Sky was trying desperately to close out a nip-and-tuck game.

The Sky turned the ball over 10 times in the fourth quarter alone and eventually succumbed 83-80 to the Dream, which got 2 clutch free throws by Angel McCoughtry (game-high 22 points) in the final seconds to take the lead for good.

The Sky -- which rolled up 25 turnovers on the game, 7 more than its 18-per-game average that ranks second-worst in the WNBA -- is now 12-15.

That's 2 full games behind the Dream (14-13) for that fourth and final playoff spot in the East.

A win by the Sky would have put both teams at 13-14 and ended the season series deadlocked at 2-2. That would have been another positive for the Sky in a potential tiebreaker situation.

Curse those turnovers!

"It's almost hard to believe it was a one-possession game (in the final seconds) when you look at the amount of turnovers we had," Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. "We didn't take care of the ball and we just didn't give ourselves a chance."

The Sky actually had a desperation chance with 2.5 seconds left, down 81-80. Cathrine Kraayeveld tried to hit Sylvia Fowles with a long lob off a sideline inbounds pass. But Fowles couldn't come down with it.

Atlanta guard Lindsey Harding got fouled in the scrum and sank 2 free throws to ice the victory.

"Usually, if you throw (the ball) high enough, I'll go get it," Fowles said. "I just couldn't grab it this time. It (stinks), but next time, I'm going to get it and score.

"This is a tough one because this game was extremely important. It (stinks), but we've got to look at the positives. We did good on the boards and got points in transition. We've just got to cut down our turnovers."

Fowles scored a team-high 20 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Shay Murphy came off the bench to add 16 points, and Cathrine Kraayeveld and Epiphanny Prince had 13 and 12 points, respectively.

The Sky has three of its final seven games at home and, on paper, has a much easier finish than Atlanta, which must play first-place Indiana three more times and second-place Connecticut once.

"To me, Chicago is not anywhere close to being out of (the playoff race)," Atlanta coach Marynell Meadors said. "We're all playing each other (in the East over the final weeks) and anything can change at any moment.

"Everyone can beat anyone in this league. The parity in this league is incredible."

•Patricia Babcock McGraw, who covers the WNBA for the Daily Herald, also provides color commentary for Chicago Sky broadcasts.

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