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The Associated Press

Tamika Catchings' absence has proven extremely costly for the winless Indiana Fever, who are off to another horrible start.

The Atlanta Dream contributed to Indiana's struggles last weekend.

Looking to avenge that double-overtime defeat, the Fever again try to pick up their first victory Sunday in Atlanta.

Still listed as day to day, Catchings has yet to take the court due to a sore back. Indiana has looked lost without the seven-time All-Star, dropping each of its first three games while shooting a WNBA-worst 61.4 percent from the foul line.

Indiana was outplayed in almost every facet of the game in Friday's 79-63 loss to Washington. The Mystics limited the Fever to 34.8 percent shooting and held a 41-31 edge on the glass.

"I am disappointed we did not play at a higher level," said coach Lin Dunn, whose team opened 1-7 last year. "We did not hit our open shots. We did not box out. It was not just one thing, everything was bad. It's been a long time since I have seen a Fever team with so little effort. Washington looked like a 10 and we looked like a six."

Backup guard Maggie Lucas had a team-high 12 points for Indiana, which made just 12 of 20 free throws. Briann January was the only starter to score in double figures, posting 10 points while shooting 3 of 8.

"We learned a lot about ourselves today," January told the team's official website. "We're going to take it and get better like we always do. We know what we need to get back to."

The Fever nearly got by the Dream before falling 90-88 in double OT last Saturday. Atlanta's Angel McCoughtry hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 8.8 seconds left in the second overtime and finished with a game-high 27 points.

The Dream (2-1), who pulled out a season-opening 79-75 win over San Antonio last Friday, couldn't keep up at unbeaten Chicago on Saturday. Erika de Souza had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Shoni Schimmel scored 17 for Atlanta, which was outscored 46-34 in the second half of the 87-73 defeat.

McCoughtry was a late scratch because of a shoulder issue, leaving her status for this game unclear.

"She's better," coach Michael Cooper said. "I think it was more of a precautionary measure for her because we play tomorrow. If that had been late in the season and we needed her, I'm sure she would have toughed it out."

The Dream, who swept the Fever in last season's Eastern Conference finals, are seeking a seventh win in eight meetings in the series.

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