The Atlanta Dream appear to have a solid opportunity to get back on track against one of the league's worst teams, though the Tulsa Shock haven't been playing like a bottom feeder lately.
The road-weary Dream hope to avoid their longest losing streak in almost three years Sunday against a Tulsa team looking for its season-best third straight victory.
After a six-game winning streak, Atlanta (10-4) has come up empty on this four-game trip that concludes in Tulsa. As a result of the slide, surging Chicago has caught the Dream atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Playing without Sancho Lyttle (foot) and Tiffany Hayes (knee) because of injuries, the Dream could not end Los Angeles' 19-game home winning streak in Wednesday's 77-73 loss to the Sparks.
Since averaging 81.5 points during its successful stretch, Atlanta has struggled offensively, scoring 70.0 per game on 37.3 percent shooting during its road woes.
"This is just a little adversity to get through the storm," said All-Star starter Angel McCoughtry, who returned from an Achilles injury to score 24 against the Sparks. "We'll be OK. We're still in a good position and we still have a great record."
McCoughtry has certainly been a bright spot for the short-handed Dream, ranking second in the WNBA with 20.2 points per game. She finished with 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting to help Atlanta top visiting Tulsa 98-81 in the season opener.
Lyttle and Hayes combined for 39 points in that victory, but they may not be able to return for this meeting.
Armintie Herrington helped pick up the scoring Friday with a season-high 18 points, while Erika de Souza recorded her third straight double-double with 15 points and 18 rebounds.
The Dream will try to avoid their first four-game losing streak since Aug. 3-13, 2010, and beat Tulsa for the eighth time in nine meetings.
Following a season-worst, six-game skid, the Shock (5-13) tightened things up defensively in wins over Seattle and Connecticut.
Tulsa had allowed 86.7 points per game during its losing streak before holding the Storm and Sun under 60 on 31.8 percent shooting.
While the Shock shot just 33.3 percent from the field, they outrebounded Connecticut 62-39 in a 64-58 victory Friday. Glory Johnson had 14 points and 17 rebounds for her eighth double-double, while Liz Cambage added 13 and 17, respectively.
"We made some plays at times when we were struggling," coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "Those plays got us over the hump. This was a satisfying win for us. We are getting better."
That rebounding effort might be difficult to duplicate against the Dream, who rank among league leaders with a plus-1.57 rebounding margin and held a 41-31 advantage on the glass in the first meeting.
Riquna Williams led Tulsa with 22 points despite missing 12 of 18 shots in that contest. The reserve guard is averaging 19.3 points in her last three games.