The Atlanta Dream will try to bounce back from a rare home loss when they face a Washington Mystics team that’s still trying to find the right rhythm for coach Mike Thibault.
The Dream will seek to improve to 3-0 this season against the Mystics, who will look to avoid a third straight loss when they start a season-high road trip Saturday night.
Atlanta (11-5) is 7-2 at home and has suffered both losses to the same team, Indiana. The Dream went 0 for 13 from 3-point range in a 77-70 loss to the visiting Fever on Tuesday.
They trailed by one with less than a minute remaining when an Indiana charging foul was reversed on replay review. The Fever scored three points after officials ruled that Tiffany Hayes was in the restricted area.
Erika de Souza had 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting, but the rest of her teammates were 16 of 56 (28.6 percent) from the field.
"Our team is not built around 3-point shooting … we’re an inside team," coach Michael Cooper said. "Championships are won in the paint, and I thought we did that tonight. I just thought we came up short on the free throws (20 of 32).
"Toward the end, we executed defensively as well as offensively, and that got us within reach until the replay."
The Mystics (7-11) lost 80-77 to Indiana the next night and failed to build any momentum for their five-game trek.
They allowed the Fever to shoot 52.5 percent and outscore them 31-14 in the second quarter.
"I just think we need to put together four aggressive quarters. We’re too inconsistent with our level of intensity and our level of aggressiveness," said forward Monique Currie, who had a team-best 18 points.
Washington missed 15 of 17 attempts from 3-point range but managed to get within two points with 15.9 seconds to go after trailing by 12 in the fourth.
"The easiest way to say it is my message is we’re going to play a certain way, and I’m more stubborn than they are," Thibault said. "There’s a tempo I want to play at, and they haven’t grasped that.
"There’s going to be some tugging right now to get that done."
Thibault’s team was swept in a home-and-home series against the Eastern Conference leaders from June 15-18.
Atlanta had a 17-4 advantage on the offensive glass and a 18-0 edge on second-chance points in a 75-67 win in Washington. Angel McCoughtry scored 27 points and the Dream made 17 more free throws than the Mystics in an 83-73 home victory.
Washington had dropped four straight road games before winning their last one, 81-70 over San Antonio on June 24.