Sun, Dream look to end losing streaks

After a scorching start to the season, the Connecticut Sun have cooled off as they head to Atlanta on Friday for a rematch with the banged-up Dream.

The Sun opened the season with five straight wins before falling to the Dream 82-77 on June 5 in Atlanta. Connecticut has lost three in a row and is battling injuries of their own. Star posts Alyssa Thomas (shoulder) and Chiney Ogwumike missed Saturday’s game in Phoenix. Thomas and Ogwumike were considered questionable as of Thursday afternoon.

The Dream have lost two in a row and two key players are battling injuries. Tiffany Hayes, Atlanta’s second-leading scorer, missed Tuesday’s road loss to the New York Liberty with an ankle injury she suffered in an ugly loss to the Indiana Fever on Saturday. Hayes was listed as questionable to play against the Sun on Friday.

Atlanta also has been without second-year guard Brittney Sykes, a unanimous selection to last season’s all-rookie team.

Without Hayes and Sykes, veteran star Angel McCoughtry has taken on more of the scoring load. McCoughtry, who returned to the WNBA after sitting out last season, poured in a career-high 39 points and had 14 rebounds and four assists against the Liberty. Only one other player in WNBA history — Los Angeles’ Candace Parker in 2008 — has reached those numbers in points, rebounds and assists in a game.

The Sun’s defense will need to find a way to slow down McCoughtry. Connecticut has surrendered an average of 95.6 points during its three-game losing streak, which includes a 17-point loss on Saturday at Phoenix. The Sun managed a season-low 72 points in the loss to the Mercury.

Morgan Tuck got her first start of the season against Phoenix and dropped a season-high 20 points, and Brionna Jones finished with a career-high 17 points for the Sun.

Thomas had 19 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists for the Sun in the first meeting of the season with the Dream. Connecticut outrebounded Atlanta by 11.

Hayes led the Dream with 22 points, and Renee Montgomery hit three of Atlanta’s six 3-pointers in the win.

The Dream have won nine of 11 against the Sun.

Connecticut has the best record in the Eastern Conference. It is 3-3 on the road. Atlanta is 3-2 at home.