Game Preview: Dream @ Liberty (09/05/08)

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ATLANTA VS. NEW YORK
SEPTEMBER 5, 2008 AT 7:30 PM EST
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
RADIO: 1230/1340 AM

The Dream make their first trip to New York City to visit the Liberty at Madison Square Garden. Atlanta is looking to snap an eight game losing streak while New York is trying to secure a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Dream got off to a strong start against the Seattle Storm on Tuesday night but were unable to maintain the momentum, losing 83-69. The Storm outrebounded the Dream and took advantage of a 15-3 run in the third quarter to build a big lead. Sue Bird led the way with 21 points and nine assists and former Dream forward Camille Little added 16 points and seven rebounds for Seattle. Atlanta was led by Betty Lennox with 25 points and five rebounds. Izi Castro Marques was the only other Dream player to finish in double figures with 12 points, all of which came in the first half.

The Liberty are coming off an overtime win against the Houston Comets on Tuesday night. With an overall record of 16-12, the Liberty are trying to hang on to a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Janel McCarville led the way for New York against the Comets, scoring a career-high 33 points to snap Houston’s eight-game home win streak. Lisa Willis also recorded a career-high with 22 points off the bench. Houston was led by Tina Thompson with a game-high 34 points.

This is the third and final matchup between the two teams, who have faced off twice already in Atlanta. The Liberty leads the series 2-0, winning 81-77 in the first matchup (6/11/2008) and 86-76 in the most recent game (7/27/2008). The Dream will have their hands full with McCarville who continues her strong play and has had success against the Dream in the previous two matchups. McCarville is averaging 23.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game against the Dream this season. The Liberty have also applied the pressure defensively, forcing the Dream into 20+ turnovers in both games. Betty Lennox has had the hot hand for the Dream, leading the team in scoring in all three games since the Olympic break. Ivory Latta (11.9 ppg) and Erika De Souza (10.3 ppg) are the only other Dream players averaging in double figures. The Dream will need a more balanced attack offensively to knock off the Liberty at home.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM EST at Madison Square Garden. Dream fans can catch all the action by listening to the play-by-play on 1230 / 1340 AM.