After losing four consecutive games on the road, the Atlanta Dream return home to face a Dallas Wings team that finished a five-game homestand with two straight wins.
The Dream (7-8) last played at home June 5, defeating the Indiana Fever, before losing at the Seattle Storm, Phoenix Mercury, Connecticut Sun and Chicago Sky.
June 5 is also the last day Dallas (8-8) played on the road, losing to the Las Vegas Aces. The Wings started their five-game stretch at home with back-to-back losses to Seattle and another to Las Vegas before beating Phoenix and the Los Angeles Sparks.
Atlanta is coming off a 106-100 setback in overtime to Chicago on Sunday, after allowing 105 points to Connecticut and 90 to Phoenix in losses.
Despite the recent lapses, the Dream are still allowing the fourth-fewest points per game (78.5) this season.
Atlanta coach Tanisha Wright mentioned part of her team’s problem has to do with limited practice time between the four games on the road because of the travel in between.
“That’s the problem — we haven’t had practice, which is not unusual for just us,” Wright said. “A lot of teams aren’t practicing. We’re not able to practice so it’s just our communication with each other.”
The inability to practice has been a hindrance with Aari McDonald taking over at point guard for injured Erica Wheeler (sprained left foot) and Tiffany Hayes (right knee injury) and Kia Vaughn (health and safety protocol) out for most of the road trip.
McDonald put in a career-high 43 minutes in the loss at Chicago and finished with 20 points, five rebounds and six assists.
Dallas arrives in Atlanta after high-scoring wins against Phoenix (93-88) and Los Angeles (92-82).
Arike Ogunbowale hit five 3-pointers and finished with 27 points, Marina Mabrey scored a season-high 21 points and Allisha Gray added 20 point and 12 rebounds in Sunday’s victory over the Sparks.
“I would say it starts with me practicing more threes over the offseason, and getting more comfortable with them,” said Ogunbowale, who leads the Wings with 3.1 made 3-pointers a game. “Some of it is dictated by defenses. They’re packing the paint a lot, a lot of help-side — stuff like that.”
–Field Level Media