Erika De Souza, Jasmine Thomas lift Dream past Sparks

ATLANTA -- Erika de Souza scored a season-high 27 points, Jasmine Thomas added 19 and the Atlanta Dream beat the Los Angeles Sparks 92-82 Monday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

Angel McCoughtry added 16 points and Alex Bentley had 10 points and 11 assists for the Dream (15-13). Atlanta opened the season 10-1 before losing 12 of its next 16 games.

Candace Parker had 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to lead the Sparks (21-9). Nneka Ogwumike added 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Lindsey Harding scored 16 points.

Los Angeles had won 10 of its last 11, but couldn't quite recover after falling behind by double digits in the first quarter.

The Dream are close to securing their fifth straight playoff berth. Atlanta, which leads fifth-place New York by four games with six remaining, hosts fourth-place Indiana on Wednesday and visits the Liberty on Friday night.

De Souza beat the halftime buzzer with a follow of a miss by Bentley, giving the Dream a 48-32 lead at the break.

The Sparks tried to challenge early in the third quarter, with Parker keying an 8-0 run with two baskets and an assist. The Dream recovered, though, responding with a 9-2 run and maintaining control. A frustrated Parker earned a technical with 3:29 left in the third after being whistled for a foul.

The Sparks made one charge in the fourth quarter, pulling to 77-71 on a free throw by Parker with 4:55 to play, but the Dream stretched out the lead to 87-75 and were not threatened again. Bentley made the key play in the run, just beating the shot clock with a running hook shot in the lane.

The Dream shot 22 for 24 from the free-throw line, while the Sparks were 24 for 32.