Lynx look to continue dominance versus Dream (Aug 7, 2017)

For the third time in the last two weeks, the Atlanta Dream get a crack at the best team in the WNBA when the powerful Minnesota Lynx visit McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta on Tuesday.

The Lynx (20-3) have beaten the Dream (10-15) eight straight times, including both meetings this season.

Minnesota, however, won’t be at full strength Tuesday.

Guard Lindsay Whalen is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair a fracture of her fifth metacarpal in her left hand. Whalen sustained the injury in last week’s 69-54 win over the Dream. She is averaging 8.0 points and a team-high 4.1 assists for the Lynx.

Minnesota stumbled in its first game without Whalen, losing on the road to the Indiana Fever on Sunday. The loss ended the Lynx’s seven-game win streak.

Maya Moore had 28 points for Minnesota, but Indiana star forward Candice Dupree dropped a season-high 31 points on the Lynx.

“We’d like to be better defensively and try to make it a little harder for great players like Dupree to get off. She was big for them offensively,” Moore told the Minneapolis Star Tribune after the loss. “This one doesn’t feel good, but we will bounce back.”

The Dream enter Tuesday’s game having lost four in a row and seven of nine overall to drop into eighth place in the league standings.

Atlanta is one of four teams within one game of each other in a logjam at the bottom of the standings. The top eight teams make the playoffs.

The Dream took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter at Chicago on Sunday, but couldn’t put away the Sky in a 91-86 defeat. Atlanta was outscored 28-13 in the fourth quarter, and coach Michael Cooper pointed to turnovers and poor shooting.

“Turnovers, and our inability to hit open shots,” Cooper told reporters after the loss to Chicago. “That happened to us in our last game in the fourth quarter (against Minnesota), and we got to figure out a way to get into our offense. But the big thing is, when you got a wide-open jump shot, you got to just settle down and you got to knock it down.”

Minnesota outscored Atlanta 23-2 in the fourth quarter of a 69-54 win over the Dream last week. Atlanta shot 31.5 percent from the floor in the loss.

The Dream rank 10th in the 12-team league in field-goal percentage, shooting 41.5 percent from the floor.