Liberty-Dream Preview
By MIKE VOTTA, STATS Senior Writer

The Atlanta Dream are back struggling, and their leading scorer hasn't done much to help out lately.

Betty Lennox looks to help the Dream end their latest losing streak when they host the New York Liberty on Sunday.

The expansion Dream (3-23) opened the season with a WNBA-record 17 straight losses, but bounced back to win three of their next five games. Since then, however, Atlanta has succumbed to another losing streak and dropped its fourth straight on Friday, 81-75 to Washington.

"Toward the end is what cost us the game," coach Marynell Meadors said. "There were spurts where we played really well and other times where we got tired."

Iziane Castro Marques scored 23 points against the Wizards, but Lennox managed only two on 1-of-6 shooting.

Lennox - one of just two Atlanta players, along with Castro Maques, with more than three years' WNBA experience - still leads the Dream with 16.9 points per game, but has managed a total of just nine in her last three contests.

However, Lennox has reason to feel optimistic heading into Sunday's game - she scored a game-high 28 points in the first meeting with New York (14-10), an 81-77 loss on June 11. Janel McCarville led the Liberty with 25 points in that game.

The Dream also will likely get a boost as Erika DeSouza regains her footing. DeSouza played Friday for the first time since breaking her leg on May 27 and had six points and four rebounds in nearly 13 minutes.

DeSouza chipped in two of Atlanta's 12 blocked shots, while Alison Bales had five for the second straight game. The Dream have posted 12 blocks in each of their last two contests.

"It is so great to have her back," Castro Marques said of the 6-foot-5 DeSouza. "She's psyched. I knew she was having a hard time sitting on the bench when she knew she could be helping us."

The Dream will have to figure out a way to slow down a Liberty team that has won five of six, including two in a row on the road. New York's only loss over that span was a 71-55 defeat to Indiana in the Outdoor Classic on July 19.

McCarville hit a layup with 6.4 seconds left to lead New York to a 69-68 win over Los Angeles on Friday.

"I was pretty confident we were going to win the game," said McCarville, whose team won despite blowing an 11-point fourth-quarter lead. "It shows how much heart and desire we had this game. We persevered as a team and overcame a lot."

Shameka Christon, who leads the team with 16.1 points per game, chipped in 13 after failing to reach double figures in her previous two contests.

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