7:00 PM ET, June 3, 2014
Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
Coming off disappointing losses in their previous games, the Los Angeles Sparks and Atlanta Dream won't have long to dwell on those outcomes before meeting at Philips Arena.The Sparks could also be dealing with fatigue following a triple-overtime thriller.As both teams play for the second time in three days Tuesday, Los Angeles looks to avoid its worst start in four years by getting its first win in Atlanta since 2009.The Sparks (2-2) held leads in the final seconds in the first two overtimes Sunday, but they couldn't close out Washington in a 92-84 loss that opened a three-game trip.Candace Parker had season highs of 32 points, 12 rebounds and six steals, but missed 18 of 28 shots as Los Angeles finished with a season-worst 33.0 field-goal percentage.Alana Beard and Lindsey Harding also struggled in the backcourt, totaling 22 points on 8-of-33 shooting. They were two of four starters who played at least 45 minutes.Making matters worse, guards Kristi Toliver (international duty) and Candice Wiggins (knee injury) did not play for the short-handed Sparks. It's uncertain if they will be available for this contest."It depends on what we do from here on as to if this is something really good, a learning a moment," coach Carol Ross said. "As coaches, that's what we're supposed to take these moments and turn them into."The Sparks, however, won't have long to learn from their mistakes as they look to avert their worst start since losing six of their first seven in 2010. They've also dropped four straight in Atlanta by an average of 15.0 points.The Dream (3-3) will try to move past their own frustrating road defeat Sunday, when they trailed by 21 before falling 85-76 to Eastern Conference-worst Connecticut.Tiffany Hayes and Erika de Souza scored a combined 32 points on 13-of-24 shooting, but Atlanta shot a season-low 36.1 percent from the field.Angel McCoughtry -- averaging a team-best 18.4 points -- was held to seven while missing 12 of 14 shots. The two-time WNBA scoring champ has missed one game due to a shoulder strain, and she's also dealing with some bumps and bruises."I still think she's hurting a little bit," coach Michael Cooper said. "She had something (bothering her) in her back. ... I think it's a little bit of a residual effect from playing overseas (in Turkey) all that time (during the offseason)."McCoughtry totaled 40 points and de Souza 42 in the two meetings with the Sparks in 2013, while Hayes has stepped up with 32 in her last two games overall.The Dream have done a nice job when facing Parker, limiting her to 11.3 points -- 6.2 below her career average -- on 41.9 percent shooting in the last four matchups.The clubs have split their meetings over the past two seasons, with the home team winning each time.