Dream look to keep postseason hope alive vs. Storm

The Seattle Storm are streaking toward the playoffs, while the Atlanta Dream are in danger of skidding their way out of the postseason.

The Storm visit the Dream on Wednesday in a battle of two teams headed in opposite directions.

Atlanta has lost nine in a row and is on the verge of being eliminated from playoff contention. The Dream beat the Phoenix Mercury in overtime on July 25. They haven’t won since and, at 10-20, are four games out the final playoff spot with four games to play.

“Our window for making the playoffs is tight,” Atlanta coach Michael Cooper told reporters after a loss at Dallas on Saturday. “There’s still a good chance, but right now, the main thing for us is that we have to have a breakthrough game to stop this slide, and that’s what we’re working on.

“And whatever we have to do, the little detailed things, boxing out, making the free throws, not turning the ball over in crucial plays, is all something we’re going to be working on the next couple of days.”

The Storm, on the other hand, have won four in a row since making a late-season coaching change. Seattle parted ways with coach Jenny Boucek and promoted assistant Gary Kloppenburg to interim coach on Aug. 10. The four-game surge bolted Seattle into seventh place in the league standings. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.

The Storm offense appears to be peaking at the right time. Seattle recorded a franchise-record 34 assists in its 103-66 rout of the Chicago Sky on Sunday. Brianna Stewart led six Seattle players in double figures with 19 points, and the Storm went over the century mark for the second time this season.

This will be the third meeting this season for the Dream. The teams split the two previous games, which were both in Seattle.

Storm point guard Sue Bird needs 12 assists to become the WNBA’s all-time assist leader. Bird had seven assists in Seattle’s 90-84 win over the Dream on July 15.