ATLANTA — Marynell Meadors says she knows better than to focus on Angel McCoughtry's turnovers.
The Atlanta Dream's young star has a knack for quickly making up for her miscues.
McCoughtry scored 29 points with 10 rebounds and scored six straight in the final two minutes, and the Atlanta Dream beat the struggling Tulsa Shock 96-90 Wednesday.
McCoughtry, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 WNBA draft, has scored 20 or more points in nine of Atlanta's 14 games. She had three steals and her strong play in the final minutes helped the first-place Dream recover after losing an 18-point first half lead.
Meadors said McCoughtry more than made up for her game-high seven turnovers.
"Sometimes she'll fumble the ball and she'll kick it and you think 'Oh my goodness, you've got to take her out,"' Meadors said. "You leave her in and she does great things, and that's what we choose to do. I just think she's a great player and a star in the making."
Tulsa coach Nolan Richardson called McCoughtry "a great player."
"The double-double she had, she can score and rebound and she's a great leader on top of that," Richardson said. "Her doing double-duty type stuff, it just separates her and gives her the opportunity to make a name for herself in the WNBA."
Atlanta's Erika de Souza had 19 points, including 15 in the first period. Iziane Castro Marques added 18 points for the first-place Dream.
Atlanta, which moved one game ahead of Connecticut and Indiana in the Eastern Conference, improved to 4-4 in June following a 6-0 record in May.
The win over Tulsa was the first of six straight home games for Atlanta.
McCoughtry said the strong effort by the Shock should be a warning for the Dream.
"I think we have a bulls-eye on us," McCoughtry said. "Everybody is going to be targeting us because we are in first place. People are going to play their best games against us because we are No. 1 in the East. We've just got to try to maintain our home-court advantage."
Atlanta's Sancho Lyttle broke an 86-86 tie with a three-point play with 2:26 remaining. McCoughtry had two layups and two free throws to pad the lead.
"I think Angel feels the necessity for trying to take over and just will this team to wins," Meadors said. "In the second half she did that, especially at the end of the game."
Scholanda Robinson had 17 points and Kara Braxton had 15 for Tulsa, which lost its sixth straight game. The Shock made 7 of 14 3-pointers.
"We never ever have stopped trying to play and that's the great part," Richardson said.
"Today would have been a great moment had we been able to hold on and win. It would have given us some confidence. It gave them some glimpses of hope that if we can play like this every night, we're going to win some games."
The Dream led 31-23 in the first period and stretched the lead to 43-25 early in the second period.
Tulsa rallied by making seven of its first 10 3-pointers. A 3 by Alexis Hornbuckle gave Tulsa a 61-59 lead and Jennifer Lacy added another 3 for a 64-61 lead late in the third period. The Shock missed their last four 3-pointers to finish 7 of 14.