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Posted Jun 27 2008 2:14AM
A winless start isn't exactly how the Atlanta Dream expected to open their inaugural season, and facing the team that handed them their first defeat probably won't help them end their woes.
The Dream hope to avoid setting an WNBA record with their 14th consecutive loss on Friday when they visit the Connecticut Sun.
It hasn't been an easy run for Atlanta (0-13) thus far as the expansion club suffered another defeat Sunday - a 97-76 rout by Eastern Conference champion Detroit. Second-year star Ivory Latta had a breakout performance with career highs in points (26) and assists (10), but veteran Betty Lennox was limited to five points to lower her team-high average to 17.8.
"At this point, I'm very frustrated," Lennox said. "I wish I had some answers. But we have to win."
The Dream have matched the 0-13 start by the Shock in 2002 - one year before Detroit won its first league championship - and the 13-game losing streak was also matched by Chicago in 2006 during its inaugural year.
"There's no continuity going on," Dream general manager and coach Marynell Meadors said. "I need better production by post players. I don't know which post player is going to show up."
The Dream won't have an easy task defeating the Sun, who were responsible for the franchise's first - and most lopsided - loss, a 100-67 defeat in Connecticut (11-4) on May 17.
"Man, it's going to be tough," said Latta, who had five points and three assists in the first meeting. "It's got to be all about focus against Connecticut, because they're a great team. We just have to find a way to put everything together - somehow."
Center Tamika Whitmore led the Sun in that contest with 22 points and 10 rebounds, but she was limited to just seven points in Thursday's 70-61 loss to the Shock, who moved into a tie with Connecticut for the best record in the league.
Asjha Jones scored a team-high 14 points, but Connecticut struggled from the floor, shooting just 32.7 percent (18-for-55) and committing 16 turnovers just two days after an 85-68 home win over Detroit. The Sun scored seven points in the first quarter.
"They were probably a little more focused on how to play against us," Sun coach Mike Thibault said. "We were just so bad offensively in the first quarter that we dug ourselves a pretty big hole."
Connecticut will be trying to avoid back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.