Dream-Sky Preview


The Chicago Sky can wrap up the top seed in the Eastern Conference with another win over the slumping Atlanta Dream, and it's unclear if they'll have to face the WNBA's leading scorer during that attempt. With Angel McCoughtry's status uncertain, the Sky will try to match the longest win streak in team history by sending the Dream to a fourth straight loss Saturday night. Chicago (20-8) got a dominant defensive effort and 25 points from Elena Delle Donne in a 67-56 victory at Atlanta last Saturday. The Sky shot 35.9 percent but held the Dream (14-12) to a franchise-worst 28.6 while ending a four-game skid in the series. Atlanta's 56 points matched the fewest in its history. "I think the effort we've been trying to get consistent is on the defensive end of the floor," coach Pokey Chatman said. "There's going to be night where you can execute and the ball doesn't fall." The win clinched home-court advantage for Chicago in the first round of the playoffs, and another victory will help it move closer to securing that edge for the entire Eastern Conference postseason. The Sky lead Atlanta by five games, though the Dream have eight left to play, two more than Chicago. Even with a loss Saturday, Atlanta could forge a tie in the head-to-head series with a road victory Sept. 13. The Dream, however, need a win to avoid losing the second tiebreaker, conference victories. Chicago can earn its 15th win over an East opponent Saturday while Atlanta would fall to 10-8 in conference games with four remaining. The Sky are also looking to match a franchise-best six-game win streak from May 30-June 13, 2012. McCoughtry may not be available to help stop that from happening. The forward, averaging 22.0 points, injured her right ankle in overtime of an 85-80 loss to Washington on Wednesday. "She rolled her ankle a little bit," coach Fred Williams said. Atlanta was also missing three of its other top seven scorers in Sancho Lyttle, Tiffany Hayes and Armintie Herrington. McCoughtry scored 23 points Wednesday and had 20 in the loss to the Sky despite missing 20 of 26 shots. She sat out the third quarter against Chicago because of a balky knee. McCoughtry's ailments have appeared to affect her shooting of late. She's made 31.8 percent in her last four games and gone 1 for 17 from 3-point range in her past five. Atlanta suffered its only four-game skid of the season during a road trip July 9-21 and has dropped a team-worst eight straight away from home.