The Atlanta Dream are coming off a surprising loss Sunday to the Washington Mystics that snapped their five-game winning streak.
If they're going to start a new winning streak, they'll have to do it against the undefeated and defending WNBA champions in the Minnesota Lynx, which visit Philips Arena for the league's marquee matchup on Friday night.
Atlanta (6-2) was deficient on the glass, allowing 22 points off 13 offensive rebounds, and gave up nine 3-pointers. Now Minnesota (8-0), which could arguably be the league's top offensive team, comes into town ready to exploit those weaknesses.
"We can't take for granted our success and our winning streak," Dream forward Angel McCoughtry said. "We have to come out and play every game hard and not take anything for granted."
McCoughtry did her part on the offensive end against Washington with 28 points, her fifth 20-point outing in the last six games, one that extended her streak of consecutive double-figure games to 23.
Atlanta will need a similar outing from its star player and a whole lot more to send the Lynx to their first loss of the season. Minnesota enters this one fresh off an 89-81 win Tuesday night over Phoenix, overcoming the loss of guard Seimone Augustus to a concussion in the third quarter.
But the Lynx survived, getting 11 points from veteran guard Jia Perkins off the bench as they scored 57 second half points to wipe out a 38-32 halftime deficit. What's more, Augustus made the trip to Atlanta, although it's not known if she'll play Friday night.
"It's never idea for anybody to have injuries on a team," forward Maya Moore said, "but this team has experienced enough and I think are close enough to really come together when times get hard. It was good for us to get tested."
Moore leads the league in scoring at 21 points per game and matched her average against Phoenix, making her one of five Minnesota players to reach extra digits. She was named Western Conference Player of the Week, days after earning the conference's Player of the Month for May.