Mystics-Dream Preview

The Associated Press

With their season on the line, the Atlanta Dream finally ended their losing streak. As a result, they're one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference finals.

The Dream host the Washington Mystics in a decisive Game 3 on Monday night.

Atlanta's skid hit five with a 71-56 loss in Game 1 on Thursday, but the Dream stopped that slide and snapped a three-game skid to Washington with a 63-45 road victory Saturday.

Atlanta's poor shooting continued as it made 35.2 percent from the floor, but it limited the Mystics to a season-low 25 percent (14 of 56).

The Dream are shooting 30.8 percent for the series, but they aren't thinking about that after staying alive.

"As long we got this one tonight. ... That's all that matters,'' said WNBA leading scorer Angel McCoughtry, who posted a game-high 20 points for the second straight contest but shot 6 of 23 on Saturday. "We'll figure that out. You can always get another shot.''

McCoughtry has made 12 of 43 (27.9 percent) in the series, but she was encouraged by the way her team responded with its back to the wall. The Dream led 36-21 at halftime and by 21 points in the second half.

''We wanted to come with a mindset that we were going to come out aggressive and not let them stomp on us like they did last game,'' said McCoughtry, who scored 11 in the first quarter. ''We came out to a great start and it carried throughout the game.''

Atlanta had dropped 12 of 13 on the road.

Now Washington is the team searching for answers after a disheartening loss. The Mystics were led by rookie Tayler Hill with 11 points, and no one else scored in double digits.

"A little different postgame than pregame," said coach Mike Thibault, who was honored as WNBA Coach of the Year beforehand. "I don't know if it was nerves, but that's the worst offensively we've played all year.''

Washington was able to get McCoughtry to foul out, but its play at the offensive end rendered that meaningless.

"We did an even better job on her probably tonight then we probably did the other night,'' Thibault said. "Got her in foul trouble and didn't take advantage."

The rebounding battle has proved critical in the first two games due to the lack of consistent shooting. The Dream outrebounded the Mystics 60-42 on Saturday after Washington held a 58-41 edge in Game 1.

Atlanta went 13-4 at home during the regular season, but it's 2-4 in its last six there including Game 1. The Mystics have won five of their last seven on the road, and they've taken two straight at Atlanta after Game 1.

Hill, who averaged 6.5 points in the regular season, has reached double figures in three of her last four games.

Atlanta's Aneika Henry had 10 points and 12 rebounds in Game 2 starting in place of forward Le'coe Willingham, who is doubtful for the series finale after sustaining a right knee injury in the opener.

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