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updated: 9/20/2012 9:59 PM

McCoughtry, Lyttle lead Dream past sky, 75-66

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Associated Press

Angel McCoughtry scored 21 points and Sancho Lyttle added 17 as the Atlanta Dream beat Chicago 75-66 Thursday night, eliminating the Sky from playoff contention.

Armintie Price had 12 points and Erika DeSouza grabbed 10 rebounds for Atlanta (19-14), which has secured third place in the Eastern Conference. The Dream never trailed and won their fourth straight and seventh in the last eight.

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Carolyn Swords scored 16 points to lead the seventh-year Sky (13-20), who have never made the postseason. Epiphanny Prince added 14, Shay Murphy had 12 and Courtney Vandersloot 10.

Chicago, which has lost three of its last four, remained one game behind fourth-place New York -- which lost 78-66 at Tulsa -- with one game remaining. The teams split their four regular-season meetings but the Liberty have the second tiebreaker with a better conference record.

Price scored six points while Lindsey Harding added five as Atlanta led 21-13 through one quarter. Chicago pulled within three with 2:28 left in the second, but Atlanta closed with a 7-0 run to take a 41-31 lead at halftime.

The Sky again trimmed the Dream's lead to three points early in the third but the got no closer as Atlanta pushed to a 57-49 advantage by quarter's end. In the fourth, the Dream led by as many as 16 points and Chicago never got closer than nine.

Chicago's Olympic center Sylvia Fowles missed her sixth straight game with a calf strain and will miss Saturday's season finale.

The Sky also announced this week that point guard Ticha Penicheiro is retiring. A 15-year veteran, she was named one of the league top 15 players of all time in 2011.

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