Dream Hosts Finals Rematch Vs. Minnesota Saturday

ATLANTA, Aug. 24, 2012 –The Atlanta Dream hosts one of its biggest games of the season this Saturday evening at Philips Arena, as the Dream battles the Minnesota Lynx in a rematch of last season’s WNBA Finals. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.

The game will be the first between the two teams since they met in the 2011 WNBA Finals, which was won by the Lynx, 3-0. The rematch has garnered national attention, with the game set to be televised by ESPN2.

The two teams have a combined six individuals who represented their countries in the recently concluded London Olympics, including four Team USA players that won gold medals. In addition to Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry, Minnesota’s Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen all played for the U.S. squad, and Dream head coach Marynell Meadors was an assistant coach for Team USA. Atlanta’s Erika de Souza is the sixth Olympian, having starred for Brazil in London.

Moore, meanwhile, will be playing in her only game this season back in Atlanta. She was a highly-touted high school sensation at Suwanee’s Collins Hill High School, leading her team to three straight Georgia Class 5A state championships before starring at UConn and in the WNBA.

Since winning last year’s WNBA title, Minnesota has continued its winning ways, entering the contest atop the Western Conference with a league-best 18-4 record. The Lynx has won five straight games and owns a 7-3 record in road contests this season.

Atlanta, meanwhile, is looking to put together another strong second half to the season, much like the Dream did last year when it won seven of its last eight games entering the playoffs, and used that momentum to propel itself into the Finals. This season, the Dream played the entire pre-Olympic portion of the schedule without starting center de Souza, and McCoughtry, the league’s leading scorer, has missed seven of the team’s first 21 games.

Saturday’s game will be the first of five straight home games for Atlanta, which enters Friday night’s game at Washington with an 11-11 record. A string of victories at Philips Arena could help the Dream build momentum and improve on its third-place standing in the Eastern Conference as it heads towards the postseason.

“We all remember the sting of losing to Minnesota in the Finals last year,” said Meadors. “This is our first chance to play them again since then, and it’s a really big game for us. This is one of those games that we circled on the calendar as soon as the schedule came out. They’re a great team and it’s going to be a big challenge for us, but I feel like we’re up to the challenge.”

Also of note, Saturday marks Atlanta’s annual Dream Pink game for Breast Health Awareness. Included in the events are a silent auction before the game and a live auction after the game that will include the team’s specially-designed, game-worn uniforms among other items. All proceeds from both auctions will benefit the Georgia Cancer Center at Grady.

While a big crowd is expected, tickets for Saturday’s game may still be purchased by visiting www.AtlantaDream.net or calling (877) 977-7729.