Liberty-Dream Preview

Winning three games in a row may be considered routine for some teams, but for the second-year Atlanta Dream it would be a franchise record.

The Dream look to set that mark Sunday, while matching their win total from all of last season as they host the New York Liberty.

Atlanta (3-2) owned the worst record in the WNBA last year at 4-30, winning consecutive games once from July 5-9 after losing the first 17 games of its inaugural season.

The Dream have shown vast improvement this season and are coming off an impressive 93-81 win over previously unbeaten Washington on Friday. That victory followed last Sunday's 67-62 win at Connecticut.

"Our defense carried us through," Dream coach Marynell Meadors said. "We just get after it. Our height and size and energy on the boards gave them problems. That's going to be our key for the rest of the season."

A big part of Atlanta's success has been the surprising play of center Sancho Lyttle, who had 20 points and 13 rebounds against the Mystics after collecting 20 and 15, respectively, in the previous contest.

Lyttle leads the Dream with 14.8 points and 8.2 boards per game after being acquired first overall in the dispersal draft that followed the demise of the Houston Comets.

"People are going to start to see now that I can put up good numbers," Lyttle said. "I'm just going to keep on hustling and getting on the boards."

She averaged 5.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 120 games - 36 starts - over the last four seasons with the Comets.

Atlanta, though, lost all three meetings with New York (1-3) last season, including two at Philips Arena.

The Liberty are looking to build on their first win after beating San Antonio 77-61 on Friday, gaining a split of a home-and-home series.

New York, which is 0-2 on the road, shot a season-high 45.6 percent Friday after making 38.0 percent over the previous three games.

"It's only game four of the season. We still have 30 more to go, but I feel like a weight has been lifted off our chests," Liberty coach Pat Coyle said. "We have to build on this."

Center Janel McCarville will likely play a key role Sunday, matching up against Lyttle. She was dominant in leading New York to three victories over Atlanta last year, averaging 22.7 points and 6.0 rebounds.

McCarville is coming off a strong performance against the Silver Stars, scoring a season-high 18 points on 9-for-13 shooting while pulling down six boards.

She leads the Liberty with 6.3 rebounds per game while ranking second with 12.8 points to Shameka Christon's 16.3 average.

Christon has totaled 31 points in the last two games after an ankle injury forced her to miss a 91-84 loss at Phoenix on June 10.

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