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Dream-Mercury Preview

May 27, 2010 - 6:16 PM By KATE HEDLIN STATS Writer

Atlanta (4-0) at Phoenix (2-1), 10:00 p.m. EDT

Off to the best start in franchise history, the undefeated Atlanta Dream aren't allowing themselves to get too excited. A road win over the defending WNBA champions may change their minds.

The Dream continue a four-game swing Friday night against the hot-shooting Phoenix Mercury.

Atlanta is 1-3 all-time against the Mercury, losing its two visits to Phoenix by an average of 22 points while allowing the Mercury to score 100 each time.

The Dream (4-0), though, opening a challenging road stretch with an 86-77 win over New York on Sunday. The win was Atlanta's second on the road after going 6-11 away from home in 2009 en route to finishing 18-16 overall.

"(It's) the best start this team's ever had, but it's still just 4-0," said Angel McCoughtry, who led the Dream with 21 points "If we get to 10-0, then it'll be like 'OK.' It's too early."

McCoughtry was named the Eastern Conference player of the week Monday after having averaged 21.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks through four games.

Following this contest, the Dream will face Los Angeles and Seattle, which is unbeaten through three home games.

As hot as the Dream have been, they will be taking on a high-scoring club in Phoenix (2-1), which is coming off a 110-96 win over Tulsa on Tuesday. The Mercury made 16 3-pointers to tie the league's single-game record.

Diana Taurasi scored 35 points and Penny Taylor had 29. Taurasi, who led the league in scoring last season with 20.4 points per game, had gotten off to a slow start in her first two contests, combining for 27 points while shooting 6 of 27.

She shot 58.8 percent against the Shock while connecting on 8 of 13 3-pointers.

"We were shooting the ball pretty well," Taurasi said. "We got some good looks and knocked them down, so that's a good sign for us for the next game."

Taurasi also told the Mercury's official Web site that the Dream will not be taken lightly.

"They're playing really, really good basketball," she said. "They're putting up huge numbers with Sancho (Lyttle) and Angel (McCoughtry). ... They're going to come in here and try to get after us. We have to get back to doing what we do really well, especially at home.

"We lost to the Storm in overtime last week and that hurt a little bit, but we'll just go in there and play really hard."

Lyttle and McCoughtry have combined for 34.3 points of Atlanta's 81.0 points per game this year.

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