Dream-Liberty Preview

The top two teams in the Eastern Conference have a brunch date on Wednesday, but don't expect the Atlanta Dream or the New York Liberty to pick up the tab for the other.

The Liberty (15-6) have a 3 1/2 game lead over the Dream (11-9), but both teams have won three straight. New York is 8-2 in its past 10 and Atlanta is only 5-5.

New York's offense starts with Tina Charles, who leads the league in scoring at 22.5 points per game. She was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for June, the second straight month she received the award.

Charles has a solid running mate in guard Sugar Rodgers, who averages 16.1 points per game. Off the bench, the Liberty count on Amanda Zahui B. to provide a spark. Zahui B. came off the bench on Sunday to lead the Liberty with 14 points in a win over San Antonio.

Angel McCoughtry, who is coming off a 26-point, six-rebound performance in a win over Connecticut, leads the Atlanta offense at 22.2 points per game.

The Liberty also have to contend with Tiffany Hayes, who keeps getting better and better. After two seasons averaging 12.9 points per game, Hayes has stepped up her game and is at 15.9 points per game this year.

Sancho Lyttle controls the boards for the Dream, hauling down 8.9 rebounds per game.

Wednesday's game at Madison Square Garden will be the final regular-season matchup between the Liberty and Dream.

Atlanta won the first meeting in overtime on May 24 at the Garden. The Dream held the Liberty to two points in overtime.

Hayes posted a double-double with 27 points and 11 boards in the 85-79 win. Charles finished with 29 points to lead the Liberty.

Charles scored 23 on June 22 to lead six players in double figures as the Liberty avenged a home loss on June 22 at Phillips Arena. McCoughtry scored 21 points but went 8 of 21 from the field.

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