3:00 PM ET, May 27, 2012
The Atlanta Dream were hoping to get their post players more involved in the season opener against the Indiana Fever.The Dream won't have to wait long to see if better execution produces better results in this series.Atlanta goes for a seventh consecutive home victory over Indiana -- a streak which includes last season's Eastern Conference finals -- as the Fever try to open 3-0 for the first time in five years Sunday.Meeting for the first time since the Dream rallied from a game down to win the 2011 East finals, the host Fever (2-0) defeated Atlanta 92-84 last Saturday. While the Dream held a 40-30 rebounding edge in that contest, they wish they would have done a better job running the offense through the post."We definitely needed to get the ball inside," forward Angel McCoughtry said after scoring a team-high 23 points in Friday's 100-74 home-opening win over New York. "We didn't do that against Indiana in the game we lost, so we really stressed that tonight. Honestly, that's how you have to play basketball -- inside out."Dream center Yelena Leuchanka missed the opener at Indiana with a concussion, but she's expected to be in Sunday's starting lineup after scoring 10 points and grabbing a team-best seven rebounds against the Liberty. Sancho Lyttle, who had 18 points and 10 boards as the starting center last Saturday, added nine points and five boards Friday."I thought our post players did very well," coach Marynell Meadors said. "They did a good job of rebounding, a good job of hitting the outlet passes and we were rolling."It was the most points scored by the Dream (1-1) since a 105-89 road win over Tulsa on July 27, 2010."We're a running team," said McCoughtry, the team leader with 24.5 points per game. "We're athletic. Once we get on a roll, I think we'll be unstoppable."Atlanta has won six straight home games versus Indiana since an 81-77 loss Sept. 11, 2008, during the Dream's inaugural WNBA season.The Fever make their first visit to Philips Arena since a 94-77 defeat in Game 2 of the conference finals. Two days later, Indiana was denied its second WNBA finals appearance in three years, losing 83-67 at Conseco Fieldhouse.The Fever now go for their first 3-0 start since winning their first four games in 2007.They're also trying to open 2-0 on the road for the first time since 2006 following Friday's 83-72 victory over Chicago.Reigning MVP Tamika Catchings had 22 points, five assists and four steals, while point guard Katie Douglas finished with 21 points for the second straight game.Catchings, who had 16 points and seven boards in the season opener, was carried off the floor by her teammates with a right foot injury in the Fever's 2011 playoff game in Atlanta.Douglas hit five 3-pointers in that contest en route to a team-best 25 points, while McCoughtry led the Dream with 27.These teams will play two more times in Atlanta this season.