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Rematch is anything but a dream for Sun

Published August 17. 2013 4:00AM

Atlanta - The Connecticut Sun were doomed by another horrendous start on Friday night.

The Atlanta Dream, two days removed from an 88-86 road loss at Connecticut, jumped out to an 18-1 lead and were never seriously challenged, routing the Sun 88-57 in a WNBA game at Phillips Arena.

It was the third-most lopsided defeat in franchise history for Connecticut (7-16), which lost for the ninth time in 10 games at Phillips Arena. Atlanta (12-9) snapped a four-game losing streak.

"Atlanta came out with a whole lot of fire, intensity and energy and we did not, clearly," Sun coach Anne Donovan said. "I hoped in the second half we might be able to play off our defense and get some easy looks off transition.

"Obviously, we were shooting the ball very poorly in the first half, but in the second half, that 16-0 run to start that quarter ... it was over quickly."

Angel McCoughtry, who scored 33 points on Wednesday night, had 30 on Friday, including 20 in the first half. She has scored 30 or more points seven times against the Sun.

Connecticut went on a 13-0 run late in the third quarter to pull within 65-43 when McCoughtry hit a 3-pointer to end the Sun's last shot at a comeback.

Iziane Castro Marques, who played four seasons with the Dream, provided the lone spark for Connecticut, hitting her first six shots and finishing with a season-high 18 points.

Her 3-pointer with 37 seconds left in the first quarter was Connecticut's first field goal of the night and helped begin a rally that brought the Sun within 33-24 - a 23-15 run capped by a Tina Charles put-back - with 1:38 left in the half.

But Atlanta answered with six straight points to build the lead back to 39-24 at the halftime and the Dream scored the first 16 points of the second half to take command at 55-24.

Connecticut missed its first 16 shots while committing eight turnovers in the first 8:21.

"In the beginning we weren't making shots and I think that might have knocked down our confidence," said Charles, who scored only nine points.

The Sun were again without all-star guard Allison Hightower (strained knee) and Kara Lawson, who is tending to a personal family matter. They travel to Chicago to face the Sky on Sunday.

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