Final
  for this game

Dream-Monarchs Preview

Sep 3, 2009 - 8:45 PM By MIKE LIPKA STATS Writer

Atlanta (16-14) at Sacramento (11-20), 10:00 p.m. EDT

A key road win in their last game put the Atlanta Dream in great position to reach the playoffs just a year removed from the worst season in WNBA history.

A victory Friday night could all but punch their postseason ticket.

The Dream continue their Western swing with a visit to the last-place Sacramento Monarchs, who are looking for their fourth straight home win and have posed problems for some other contenders lately.

Atlanta's league-record 30 losses in the club's inaugural season last year are a distant memory after their second-half run in 2009, which has put them in second place in the Eastern Conference and ahead of several teams jockeying for the last two playoff spots.

Nine wins in their last 13 games have put the Dream (16-14) into that position, and after dropping the first two games of this road trip, they bounced back with an 84-79 win at red-hot Los Angeles on Tuesday.

It was the second win in five games without Chamique Holdsclaw, who is recovering from knee surgery.

"She's been such a great leader on the court for us," Dream coach Marynell Meadors said. "She's been so valuable to us. When she's not there, somebody else has to step up. But they haven't had to do that all year."

Iziane Castro Marques has often been the one rising to the occasion, averaging 22.2 points in the five games without Holdsclaw. She scored 27 against the Sparks, shooting 5 of 10 from 3-point range.

"I think I'm one of the fastest players in this league," said Castro Marques, now ahead of Holdsclaw with a team-high 14.3 points per game. "Most of the teams can't keep up with me when I'm at full speed. So I try to play as fast as I can all the time."

The Dream's win at Los Angeles was just their fifth in 14 road games, however, and Sacramento hasn't been an ideal destination for opponents lately.

The Monarchs (11-20) have won their last three home games against teams contending for playoff spots. They've beaten East-leading Indiana twice since Aug. 20, and cruised past slumping Connecticut 90-70 on Tuesday.

Rebekkah Brunson dominated in the win over the Sun, scoring a career-high 32 points on 13 of 18 shooting from the field while pulling down 13 rebounds.

"I think throughout the season we got better and better, and I think we are in a really good spot right now," Brunson said. "We have three tough games coming up at home, but we are here at Arco (Arena) and we are just hoping to get these couple of wins."

The Monarchs couldn't keep up with the Dream in Atlanta on Aug. 25, losing 103-83 as Castro Marques scored 30 points and rookie Angel McCoughtry added 20.






  • 10
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Dream 98, Monarchs 90  FinalSep 5 3:21 AM
  • 5
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Dream 98, Monarchs 90  FinalSep 5 2:11 AM


  • WNBA
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 27 24 24 23 98
    SACRAMENTO 23 31 17 19 90 FINAL

    HIGH SCORERS: ATL - ERIKA DESOUZA 27, ANGEL MCCOUGHTRY 26,
    IZIANE CASTRO MARQUES 16
    SAC - NICOLE POWELL 23, DEMYA WALKER 19,
    REBEKKAH BRUNSON 13

    Sep 5 12:02 AM


  • WNBA
    ATLANTA 27
    SACRAMENTO 23 END, 1ST QTR

    Sep 4 10:27 PM