The Atlanta Dream struggled on both ends of the floor in their last game, and the result was their first loss of the season.
Facing the Seattle Storm could help the Dream get back on track.
Atlanta continues its best start in three seasons Friday night when it goes for an eighth consecutive home win and fifth in a row in this series.
Going for the home-and-home sweep after routing New York 75-66 last Friday, the visiting Dream (4-1) shot a season-low 36.4 percent in Sunday's 76-67 defeat and were outscored 25-12 in the final 10 minutes.
"We didn't make our shots,'' said forward Sancho Lyttle, who recorded her fourth double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds - both tied for season highs. "... We know better next time if we're not making shots we have to step up on defense.''
The Dream, off to their quickest start since opening a franchise-best 6-0 in 2010, are holding opponents to a WNBA-low 70.6 points per contest. However, they'll be without Lyttle, who is averaging 15.4 points, 9.0 points and 2.8 steals, for the next six games as she plays for Spain in the EuroBasket tournament.
That means Atlanta, tied with Chicago atop the Eastern Conference standings, might have to lean more on leading scorer Angel McCoughtry (18.0), Tiffany Hayes (10.8) and Erika DeSouza (9.4).
The Storm (1-2), meanwhile, arrive in Atlanta with a league-worst 67.3 scoring average after hitting a season-low 38.7 percent of its shots in last Friday's 67-58 loss to previously winless Tulsa. Seattle missed all 17 3-point tries, failing to make a shot from long range for just the third time in team history.
"Any of our people on this team when they miss 17 I'm going to pass it to them again because the 18th one is going in," said Temeka Johnson, who failed in both of her 3-point attempts and finished with 13 points. "We ran the same things we run in practice but the shots didn't fall.''
The Storm also have plenty of room for improvement on the defensive end, as they're surrendering 80.3 points per game on a league-worst 51.4 percent shooting.
Seattle won't have either star point guard Sue Bird or three-time MVP Lauren Jackson to help fix those woes - both are out for the season with injuries - and the team opens a stretch of eight of 10 on the road.
"With our situation and a game at home, you need to want it and be hungry for it every night you step on the floor, no matter who you're playing," Storm leading scorer Tanisha Wright told the team's official website last Friday after finishing with a season-low five points.
Seattle will play an Atlanta team that's undefeated at home since a 84-80 loss to Tulsa on Aug. 28 and 4-0 versus Seattle there since getting swept in the 2010 WNBA finals.
McCoughtry, the league's reigning scoring champ, missed a 70-59 victory at Seattle on July 11 with a sprained MCL, but she finished with a game-high 23 points in a 77-61 home win Sept. 11 that evened the all-time series at five games apiece.
- Sports & Recreation
- Seattle Storm
- Atlanta Dream
- Sancho Lyttle