ATLANTA (AP) — Erlana Larkins wasn’t all that impressed with her work on the boards
“I think I had an all-around pretty decent game once it picked up in the beginning,” she said. “I had a few missed shots around the basket.”
She had 13 points and 22 rebounds while Briann January added 16 points to help the Indiana Fever beat the Atlanta Dream 82-77 in overtime on Sunday night.
Larkins finished two rebounds shy of the WNBA single-game record set by Washington’s Chamique Holdsclaw at Charlotte on May 23, 2003. The Fever (1-3) ended a three-game losing streak that stopped their worst start to a season since 2001.
Angel McCoughtry scored 19 points and Jasmine Thomas added 17 for Atlanta (2-2).
A sore shoulder bothered McCoughtry, the league’s two-time defending scoring champion who missed Saturday’s loss at Chicago with a sore shoulder.
“I felt good for the most part, but my shoulder is still hurting,” McCoughtry said. “They just did the little things a lot better tonight and had more energy late in the game.”
Larkins had five points and five rebounds in overtime as Indiana outscored the Dream 14-9 in the final 5 minutes.
“When you have a player dominate the boards like that, it is going to be tough for you to win some games,” Dream coach Michael Cooper said. “Tonight was no different than the last time we played this team.”
Indiana’s offense managed just four points in the fourth quarter to match a franchise low. The Fever missed 12 straight shots from the field before January’s reverse layup forced a 68-all tie with 1:57 left in regulation.
Atlanta, which won in double OT at Indiana last week on McCoughtry’s 3 in the closing seconds, never led after she hit a 3 to make it 68-66 with 4:08 left in regulation.
The Dream committed 21 turnovers, leading to 27 points for Indiana.
Indiana was without forward Tamika Catchings, the 2011 WNBA MVP and 2012 finals MVP, for the fourth straight game, but the Fever got 14 points from Sydney Carter and 12 from Natasha Howard. Catchings is sidelined by lower back soreness.
Sancho Lyttle finished with 15 points and Erika de Souza had 14 for Atlanta, which swept Indiana in the Eastern Conference finals last season.
Larkins was pleased how the Fever, despite their offensive struggles in the fourth, stayed focus defensively. Sixteen of her rebounds came on Atlanta’s end.
“I was just determined to be a contributor today, give it all I had, and not let another one slip through our fingers because we let Atlanta take one from us in overtime,” she said. “The mission was to come out, be effective, and hold on to a win.”