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Dream-Shock Preview

AP - Sports

With Angel McCoughtry out of her shooting slump, the Atlanta Dream will try to continue their push to wrap up first place in the Eastern Conference.

Having snapped a season-high losing streak their last time out, the Dream look to end a three-game road skid Thursday night against the Tulsa Shock.

McCoughtry shot 34.7 percent during Atlanta's four consecutive defeats before breaking out in an 89-80 win over Connecticut on Tuesday. The All-Star forward had a team-best 25 points and went 10 of 16 from the field, while Tiffany Hayes matched a career high with 23 points.

The win pushed the Dream (16-9) four games in front of Washington in the East and was their first without coach Michael Cooper, who began a leave of absence July 21 after being diagnosed with early stage tongue cancer.

"We're professionals and no matter who we have on the bench, we still know how to play the game and sometimes coach ourselves," McCoughtry said. "Sometimes, Coach Cooper mostly sits on the sidelines and lets us figure it out anyway."

With assistant coach Karleen Thompson leading the way, Atlanta plays five of its next six on the road, starting that stretch against a club that's trying to match its longest home win streak of the season.

The Shock, who won four straight at home June 6-15, are also looking to bolster their playoff hopes.

Glory Johnson's league-best 15th double-double - 19 points, 13 rebounds - helped Tulsa (10-17) beat Seattle 80-74 on Tuesday and move within two games of Los Angeles for the final playoff spot in the West.

"I guess I have to start calling her Ms. Double-Double," coach Fred Williams said. "She's a cross between Dennis Rodman and Charles Barkley."

Odyssey Sims had a team-leading 21 points and shot 8 of 12 after scoring 24 in a 79-69 win over Chicago on Sunday. She's averaged 24.5 points and 58.1 percent shooting in the last four games.

The Shock won even though leading scorer Skylar Diggins had 11 points - her lowest total in 22 games - while going 4 of 12 for the second straight contest.

Heading into their first matchup of the season, Atlanta has won nine of the last 12 meetings with the Shock after the teams split two last season.

The Dream won in their first three visits to Tulsa before a 90-63 drubbing last July 21.

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