Game Preview: Dream @ Sparks (09/11/08)
The Dream travel to the west coast to take on the Los Angeles Sparks for the second time this season and the first matchup since Opening Weekend.
The Dream (3-29) are coming off a tough loss on September 8 in their home finale, losing 81-77 to the Indiana Fever. Indiana’s Tan White scored 12 of her 24 points in the fourth quarter, including a clutch jumper with 28.3 seconds to go to lead the Fever to the win. Tamika Catchings added 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Five Dream players scored in double figures, but it wasn’t enough as Atlanta dropped its tenth straight. Betty Lennox led the way with 19 points, including 11-12 from the free throw line. Katie Feenstra gave the Dream a lift off the bench, scoring 15 points on 5-6 shooting from the field. Also in double figures were Erika De Souza (11), Ivory Latta (11) and Izi Castro Marques (10).
The Sparks (19-13) clinched a playoff spot in the Western Conference where they are currently in third place in the division. Los Angeles has not been in action since Saturday night when they defeated the Houston Comets 84-66. DeLisha Milton-Jones led the way with 16 points and seven rebounds. Candace Parker (12), Lisa Leslie (11) and Temeka Johnson (10) also finished in double figures. Los Angeles has two more games on the schedule before the playoffs. They take on Seattle in their regular season finale on September 14. The Sparks have two MVP candidates in Olympians Lisa Leslie (15.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 3.0 bpg) and Candace Parker (18.6 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 3.4 apg).
The two teams have not matched up since Opening Weekend, a 74-56 Sparks victory in Atlanta. Lisa Leslie led the way with a double-double, recording 14 points and 10 rebounds and Candace Parker added 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Izi Castro Marques scored 15 of her 17 points in the second half to lead the Dream. Erika De Souza added 11 points and six rebounds. The Sparks were able to shut down Betty Lennox in the first matchup, holding the Dream’s leading scorer to only four points.
Tip-off is scheduled for 10:30 PM EST at the Staples Center. The game will be broadcast on NBA TV. Atlanta closes out its inaugural season in Seattle on Friday night against the Storm.