Dream-Storm Preview

The Associated Press

The Atlanta Dream have played only one game over the last 12 days, and the result didn't exactly turn out the way they had hoped.

Their recent history against the Seattle Storm has been much better.

Atlanta seeks a sixth consecutive win over struggling Seattle while dealing the host Storm a sixth loss in seven tries Sunday night.

The Dream (10-2) have the best winning percentage in the WNBA, but an eight-day layoff after beating San Antonio 93-67 on June 30 for their sixth straight win may have been a factor in their latest contest.

Atlanta shot 37.7 percent from the field and was routed 94-72 at Minnesota on Tuesday, allowing its most points of the season. It had given up an average of 68.7 points during its winning streak.

"It must have been (rust). We missed a lot of shots,'' said Angel McCoughtry, who missed 14 of her 19 shots and finished with 16 points - 4.2 below her average coming in. "It's just one of those things where we'll get it again.

"We'll be all right. We're still No. 1 in the league, and you can't take anything away from this team with the way we've played so far.''

Sancho Lyttle returned from a six-game absence while playing for Spain's national team to score nine points, but she went scoreless in the second half. Erika de Souza finished with 14 points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds.

"I told the team before that this would be a game where we'd have to learn from some experiences, and that's one,'' coach Fred Williams said. "You had a playoff-type atmosphere with the crowd, and with our younger players, they're getting some experience dealing with that. We're just going to build on it and keep on moving.''

The Dream won't have to wait as long between games this time, as they will face a Seattle team they beat a month ago. McCoughtry finished with 23 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and five steals to help Atlanta win 68-59 at home on June 14, as no Storm player scored more than 11.

Seattle (5-8), which ranks near the bottom of the league with 69.7 points per game, hasn't looked like much of a contender lately, having lost five of six after a 66-57 defeat at New York on Tuesday.

It has trailed by at least 14 points after the first quarter in each of the last three games, including 24-7 against the Liberty.

"We've been having poor starts for a while now,'' forward Tina Thompson said. "It's something we're going to have to find a solution to. As the game continues to go, we get better, (but) at the beginning of the game we're having rough starts.

"If we had an answer we probably would have fixed it by now.''

Seattle on Friday re-signed center Ashley Robinson, who spent 2006-11 with the franchise. She last played with Washington in 2012, but will be available to make her season debut Sunday.

The Storm haven't beaten the Dream since completing a three-game sweep in the 2010 WNBA finals.