Monday, September 25, 2023
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WNBA Preview: Seattle Storm (11-26) at Atlanta Dream (17-20)

The Atlanta Dream want to be sharp for the WNBA playoffs, but first they must take care of the business in front of them.

The Dream are one of four teams elbowing for the final three playoff berths. They have three regular-season games left to secure their spot, beginning Wednesday night against the visiting Seattle Storm in College Park, Ga.

Atlanta (17-20) is in a tight race with the Washington Mystics, Los Angeles Sparks and Chicago Sky for three playoff bids. If the Sky lose to the Indiana Fever on Tuesday and the Dream defeat Seattle on Wednesday, that will be enough for Atlanta to return to the postseason for the first time since 2018.

The Dream’s last outing was a 91-85 overtime loss at the Minnesota Lynx. Atlanta led 74-67 with 2:28 left in regulation after Aari McDonald made a 3-pointer, but Minnesota scored the final seven points of regulation and poured on 17 more during OT.

Cheyenne Parker’s 20 points led five Dream players in double figures. Naz Hillmon contributed a career-high-tying 13 points and a season-best nine rebounds off the bench.

While Atlanta has been off since Friday, the Storm (11-26) head east after losing 103-77 at Las Vegas on Saturday.

Seattle will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2015. Coach Noelle Quinn said the biggest challenge with a young team is maintaining professionalism every day.

One subplot the rest of the way will be the scoring pace of Jewell Loyd. Her average of 24.3 points per game is the second highest in league history; the record is Diana Taurasi’s 25.3 clip in 2006. Loyd has scored 25 or more points in five of her past six games.

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