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Dream-Monarchs Preview
By JEFF MEZYDLO, STATS Senior Writer

Two of the Atlanta Dream's three victories have come during their current road stretch, and they'll look to win back-to-back games as they continue their season-high six-game trip against the Sacramento Monarchs on Friday night.

Atlanta (3-19) beat Indiana 81-77 on Wednesday for its third win in five games since opening their first WNBA season with a league-record 17 consecutive losses. The Dream improved to 2-2 on their current road swing that concludes against Phoenix on Saturday night.

"Being 0-17 is nothing to be happy about, but the thing I like most is that we persevered through it,'' said the Dream's Betty Lennox, who scored 11 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter. "Nobody even expected us to win one game and now we got three.''

Iziane Castro Marques had a season-high 24 points for Atlanta, which opened the trip with a 73-67 win at Minnesota on July 9, one game after beating Chicago for the franchise's first victory.

"We pretty much played 40 minutes of great basketball, and it was a great team effort,'' Castro Marques said of the Dream's recent victory.

Atlanta, which is shooting 39.8 percent from the field but converted 44.8 percent Wednesday, will face Sacramento for the first time Friday.

The Monarchs (10-11) look for a third straight victory as they conclude their four-game home stretch after winning 105-97 over Phoenix on Saturday.

Chelsea Newton had a career-high 18 points while Rebekkah Brunson overcame a knee injury to finish with 13 points and 11 rebounds for Sacramento. The Monarchs shot 43.9 percent in recording their highest point total of the season.

Sacramento improved to 7-4 at home and set a franchise record for free throws made, going 39-for-43.

"This gave us a chance to get over the hump and know that we are in a good position and know that we just need to play our game and not change anything and things will turn around," Brunson said of the Monarchs, who had lost three in a row prior to winning two straight.

Brunson bounced back after managing four points and three rebounds in 27 minutes of an 87-69 win over Los Angeles on July 10.

Nicole Powell and U.S. Olympic team member Kara Lawson each had 15 points against Phoenix. Ticha Penicheiro added 14 and six assists for Sacramento, which is averaging 74.3 points on the season and 84.5 in winning five of its last six at home.

The teams meet again Tuesday in Atlanta.

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