The Atlanta Dream will try and move one step closer to securing a playoff berth tonight when they take on the Washington Mystics at Philips Arena. Atlanta lost the first game of the home and home series last night falling 85-81 at the Verizon Center. Crystal Langhorne scored 25 points as the Mystics erased a nine point third quarter deficit to shock the Dream.
Angel McCoughtry led Atlanta with 30 points but no other Dream player had more than 11. Atlanta will need a little more balance tonight as they look to turn up the defensive pressure against Crystal Langhorne and the Mystics. The Dream is second in the league in scoring at just under 82 points per game. However, they have struggled at the defensive end of the floor also allowing right at 82 points per outing. When coach Marynell Meadors has gotten just a little bit of defense out of her squad they have been hard to beat on most nights.
Atlanta center Erika de Souza sat out Thursday night's loss against the Mystics with an injured ankle. She remains listed as day to day but is doubtful to return to action for tonight's game. Allison Bales got the start in de Souza's place last night and responded with 11 points and six rebounds.
With just four games remaining in the WNBA season, the Dream have a chance to cut their magic number to just one game with a win tonight setting up a playoff clinching scenario in Sunday's home match up against Tulsa. After Tulsa, Atlanta has a home game against Connecticut before closing out the season on the road in Indiana.
The Dream still have a shot to move up out of the fourth spot in the East as they trail the New York Liberty by just one game for third place. The Liberty are in Minnesota tonight to take on the 24-6 Lynx who hold the WNBA's best record.
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