7:00 PM ET, September 11, 2012
The Seattle Storm set a league record by clinching their ninth consecutive postseason berth over the weekend.While the Atlanta Dream have a chance to secure a playoff spot Tuesday night, they won't be content to just get in.The Storm try to avoid a second straight two-game season sweep at the hands of the Dream when the teams meet at Philips Arena.After completing a home-and-home sweep of Tulsa with Saturday's 89-66 road win, Seattle (13-14) earned a playoff berth the next day thanks to Indiana's 89-83 victory over Phoenix.Though the Storm's sub-.500 record leaves much to be desired, they're starting to hit their stride. Seattle has won three of four, with the victories coming by an average of 22.6 points.Camille Little had a season-high 28 points and nine rebounds Saturday while three-time league MVP Lauren Jackson, playing in her fifth game since joining the Storm following the London Olympics, posted 10 points and eight boards in 16 minutes."We're passing the ball really well right now. Basically, we started over," Little said. "Lauren wasn't here in the beginning and we had several injuries that made us start over. This is a great time to get comfortable."It's nice to have everybody back. It's certainly better than when you only have two or three (scorers)."The Dream (16-14) have a chance to clinch a playoff berth with a win in this game and a Chicago loss to league-leading Minnesota on Tuesday.Atlanta blew a 25-point lead during Friday's 97-93 double-overtime loss to the Lynx but bounced back Sunday, beating league-worst Washington 93-68. Lindsey Harding and Armintie Price each scored 15 points for the Dream, who took a 48-27 lead into halftime and never looked back."We're at our best when we share the ball," Harding said. "We didn't play badly at Minnesota. We played well. We wanted to keep that same level of play and the same intensity."Two-time reigning Eastern Conference champion Atlanta was swept by Seattle in the 2010 WNBA finals before suffering the same fate against Minnesota last season. The Dream, though, have their sights set on winning it all this year."We're trying to win a championship," Price said. "We know that we have to learn from every game and keep getting better. We want to get off to good start in every game and that's what we were able to do."Leading the league with 21.6 points per game, Angel McCoughtry scored 30 against Minnesota but was held to eight on 4-of-10 shooting Sunday.McCoughtry has come off the bench in the last five games in which she's played. She missed four games late last month, two for personal reasons and two due to suspension for violating team rules.McCoughtry was also unavailable during a 70-59 win at Seattle on July 11 due to a sprained MCL.