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Jun 28, 2024 4:08 am

Dream aim to take advantage of extra rest vs. Sun

Connecticut Sun

The Connecticut Sun are 14-3 and a half-game behind the New York Liberty for the best record in the WNBA. The Atlanta Dream are 6-9, losers of five of their past six games, and playing without leading scorer Rhyne Howard (ankle).

But Atlanta will have one big advantage going into its Friday night trip to Uncasville, Conn., for its meeting with the Sun — rest. Not only have the Dream been idle since a 96-75 home loss to New York on Sunday, but they are facing a team coming off a grueling 94-91 overtime win Thursday night in Washington.

The rested Dream are likely to rely on center Tina Charles to try to work over the Sun inside. Charles, who is averaging 13.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, is coming off a 19-point effort against the Liberty and is 58 points shy of Tamika Catchings for third place on the league’s all-time scoring list.

“We don’t focus on what we don’t have but who we have,” Charles said. “Who we have is always more than enough. … Just remaining confident within ourselves, just trying to go out and execute the game plan.”

Meanwhile, Connecticut will attempt to overcome potential problems with fatigue by employing its normal winning formula of balance and defense. The Sun overcame Washington’s 51.5 percent shooting from the field by forcing 26 turnovers that led to 32 points.

Five Connecticut players average double-figure scoring, led by DeWanna Bonner at 16.7 points per game. The best part of the season so far, according to coach Stephanie White, is that Connecticut isn’t close to reaching its ceiling.

“We understand that it’s a long season,” she said. “We understand that we want to be peaking at the right time when it comes time for the playoffs. The thing I’m most proud of is that we’re finding different ways to win. And that’s important when it comes down the stretch.”

The Sun easily won their first meeting this season against Atlanta 69-50 on June 2 in College Park, Ga., behind Bonner’s 18 points and 10 rebounds.

–Field Level Media

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