Atlanta, the early surprise in the WNBA, has stumbled, losing six straight games to fall below .500, after maintaining first place in the Eastern Conference for over a month.
The Dream will try to take advantage of a rebounding edge to turn things around Tuesday, when the up-and-down Seattle Storm visit Philips Arena.
The Dream (8-9) haven't won since an overtime victory against Chicago on June 17. They're averaging just 76.0 point during the losing streak. Their ball movement has slowed, and they're now last in the WNBA in assists.
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Atlanta squandered a seven-point fourth-quarter lead in a home loss to Phoenix on Sunday. The Mercury, led by a triple-double from Brittney Griner, closed out the Dream with a 23-6 run in the final seven minutes of the game.
“We have to play more disciplined in the end,” Dream forward Tiffany Hayes told reporters after the loss to Phoenix. “I think in the third quarter we lost our focus. We just have to put together four complete quarters.”
The Dream have remained among the league's top rebounding teams, though, and are second in the WNBA at 36.6 boards per game, something that could pay dividends against the Storm.
Seattle (6-10) is last in the WNBA in rebounding, but was able to overcome a disadvantage on the boards in an 84-81 win over the Dream last week. Seattle star Sue Bird scored a career-high 38 points, including a clutch off-balance jumper with 8.2 seconds in the win.
The Storm were unable to build off that win, though, and followed it up with a 83-78 home loss to Dallas on June 30. Seattle didn't score in the final 2:15 in the loss to the Wings.
Atlanta's Angel McCoughtry is third in the WNBA in scoring, averaging 19.6 points per game. Seattle rookie Breanna Stewart leads the Storm, averaging 18.8 points per game.
The trip to Atlanta tips off a three-game road trip for Seattle. The Storm are 2-5 on the road this season.
The two teams split last season's meetings, each winning on their home floor.