Shock-Dream Preview

Despite winning two WNBA championships in the last five seasons and the Eastern Conference title last year, the Detroit Shock still have the distinction of stumbling to the worst start in league history in 2002.

With a win Sunday, they'll at least have some company.

The visiting Shock will look to hand the expansion Atlanta Dream a 13th consecutive loss to begin their inaugural season, a skid that would match Detroit's record set just one year before winning its first league title.

The latest defeat for Atlanta (0-12) came Friday, shooting just 32.8 percent from the field in a 72-61 loss at Washington. Six of the Dream's last seven losses have been by at least nine points.

A second home loss to Detroit (9-3) also would mean Atlanta would match the longest losing streak at any point in a season in WNBA history. Along with the Shock's season-opening slide six years ago, Chicago lost 13 straight after winning its first game as a franchise in 2006.

The Shock erased a 13-point halftime deficit to win 88-76 in Atlanta on May 23, as Detroit's Deanna Nolan - a former University of Georgia star - helped spoil the Dream's home opener by scoring 33 points.

That had been her season high until Friday, when she had 44 points on 15-of-22 shooting from the field in a 98-93 overtime win over Minnesota. Nolan has been dealing with an ankle injury she suffered playing in Russia in the offseason, but she looked healthy Friday, scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter and eight more in overtime.

"I'm still playing her too many minutes, but this is as good as she's looked all year," Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer said. "She made every big shot we needed tonight."

Nolan, the only remaining Shock player who was on the team for the dismal 2002 start, was also 4-of-8 from 3-point range and 10-of-10 from the free throw line, making three foul shots with four seconds left to force overtime.

Her total was just three points shy of the WNBA single-game record, shared by Phoenix's Diana Taurasi and Seattle's Lauren Jackson.

"When you are scoring like that, you almost get tunnel vision," Nolan said. "I've had hot streaks like that before, but never one where I scored that many points."

The Shock have won two in a row since losing back-to-back contests during a four-game road trip. They are a half-game behind Connecticut for the WNBA's best record.

Atlanta's next three games are against either the Shock or the Sun, as the Dream visit both of the top two teams in the East next weekend.

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