Game Preview: Dream vs. Sun (08/29/08)

vs.

ATLANTA VS. CONNECTICUT
AUGUST 29, 2008 AT 7:30 PM EST
PHILIPS ARENA
RADIO: 1230/1340 AM

The Dream return to action for the first time in over a month (due to the Olympic break) against the top team in the East, the Connecticut Sun. This is the third and final matchup between the two teams. The game will have a “Dream Pink” theme in support of breast cancer awareness. The first 3,000 fans in attendance will receive Dream Pink t-shirts and pom poms courtesy of Dekalb Medical and Verizon Wireless.

The Dream are hoping for a fresh start following the Olympic break after losing their last five before the break. In recent team news, the Dream signed free agent point guard Nikki Teasley. Teasley, a three-time All-Star, spent the last two seasons with the Washington Mystics. She has not played in 2008, following the birth of her daughter in June. Teasley starred collegiately at the University of North Carolina and began her WNBA career with the Los Angeles Sparks. Center Erika De Souza is back in action for the Dream after missing the majority of the year with a fractured leg. De Souza played in the Dream’s last two games before the break, and pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds against the Liberty on July 27, 2008.

The Sun sit atop the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 16-10, including a three-game win streak before the Olympic break. While Connecticut boasts a 10-3 record at home, they are only 6-7 on the road this season. Behind the play of MVP candidate Lindsay Whalen, the Sun have been impressive in what many critics believed would be a rebuilding year for Connecticut. Whalen is averaging 15.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game this season. Asjha Jones is also having a big year for the Sun, leading the team in scoring (16.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg).

The Sun have a 2-0 lead in the series with the Dream. The two teams first squared off on Opening Day, with the Sun cruising to a 100-67 victory on May 17, 2008 in Connecticut. In their second matchup on June 27, 2008, Connecticut narrowly escaped with a 109-101 victory in overtime at home. Betty Lennoxexploded for 44 points and added nine rebounds and seven assists in the loss for the Dream. Ivory Latta finished with 15 points, four rebounds and four assists. The Sun frontline was the difference in the game, as the Sun outscored the Dream 50-28 in the paint. Asjha Jones finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for Connecticut and Tamika Whitmore added 28 points. Guard Lindsay Whalen added 10 points, ten rebounds and four assists in the victory for Connecticut.