Based on their recent play, neither the Atlanta Dream nor the Minnesota Lynx have resembled teams poised for the playoffs.
Following a rough month of August for each club, the visiting Dream can snap an eight-game road losing streak and sweep the season series from the Lynx on Friday night in Minneapolis.
With four games remaining in the regular season, Atlanta and Minnesota sport matching 17-19 records, yet sit in playoff position despite struggling over the last several weeks. The Dream hold the tiebreaker between the teams by virtue of winning the season series.
Atlanta capped a dismal 3-8 August by snapping its three-game losing streak with Tuesday’s 94-76 victory over Phoenix.
“Every game right now matters for us,” said Dream coach Tanisha Wright, whose squad shot 52 percent and scored more than 80 points for just the third time in the past 12 games.
“We have to put together another solid game here when we head to Minnesota.”
Atlanta, which last won on the road July 9 at Chicago, has won its two previous meetings with the Lynx by a combined 15 points. The Dream’s Cheyenne Parker totaled just 15 points in those contests, but she has averaged 23.7 points in the past three games.
The Lynx lost 111-76 to New York last weekend and 83-72 at Washington on Tuesday to conclude a 4-6 month of August. Minnesota has allowed an average of 89.8 points during its current 2-3 stretch — an issue that needs to be remedied soon.
“We have to focus on defense and knowing personnel,” said Minnesota rookie Diamond Miller, who had 25 points versus Washington after scoring 18 against the Liberty.
Lynx star Napheesa Collier averages 21.1 points for the season, but has totaled only 27 in the past two games. Collier scored 20 during an 83-77 home loss to the Dream on May 23, then dropped 35 on Atlanta in an 82-73 road defeat on July 18.
It’s uncertain if Minnesota forward Jessica Shepard (8.1 points, 7.1 rebounds per game) will be available after she sat out Tuesday due to an ankle injury.
—Field Level Media
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