WNBA

Dream-Sun Preview

An indication of her growing maturity, Angel McCoughtry is trying to stay in a brighter mood when faced with obstacles.

McCoughtry and the Atlanta Dream, however, haven't encountered too many impediments so far this season and look to extend one of the best starts in franchise history Friday night.

The Connecticut Sun are trying to avoid matching their worst and their first 0-3 mark at home.

McCoughtry has been known as a mercurial player and one of the lowlights of her career was a team-imposed, two-game suspension in 2012.

"I didn't know how to channel adversity when I was younger. I love to win so much, I would get frustrated when we didn't. Now I channel my adversity by not getting frustrated and playing through it," she said.

McCoughtry is in her usual spot among the league leaders with 19 points per game, but she's getting a little more help this season. Tiffany Hayes is averaging 15.7 points, up from 12.9 in each of the previous two years, and Layshia Clarendon has made an even bigger leap while helping Atlanta jump out to a 5-1 record.

Clarendon is scoring 14.5 points per contest, nearly triple her average from her three seasons in Indiana. The guard has totaled 36 points in the past two games and had 17 as the Dream avenged their only defeat this season with an 85-76 victory over Indiana on Sunday, their fourth in a row.

McCoughtry led the way with 22 points and Atlanta is averaging 86.2 during the third-best start in team history, up from 77.8 in 2015. The Dream began 10-1 in 2013 and 6-1 in 2010.

"We are slowly but surely getting our momentum," coach Michael Cooper said. "We are playing good but it's early. With the format of the playoffs it is important that you win these games and that's why we are 5-1."

The Sun are 1-5 following their fourth consecutive defeat Tuesday, 99-90 at Phoenix. Connecticut has started 1-6 one other time in franchise history, in 2001 as the Orlando Miracle.

The Sun's leading scorer is Jasmine Thomas at 13.0 points per game. Connecticut is near the bottom in the league at 76.8 per contest and is giving up an average of 85.7.

The Sun have allowed their past two opponents to surpass 90 points.

The Dream won the final three of last season's five meetings and ended a five-game losing streak at Connecticut with a 102-92 victory Aug. 23. McCoughtry scored 33 points, one shy of matching her season high.

Comments

More WNBA