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WNBA News and Notes Saturday 6/20

WNBA News and Notes Saturday 6/20

Saturday's Best WNBA Bet

Chicago Sky at Washington Mystics (-4, 148)

Two of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference last season, the Washington Mystics and Chicago Sky are off to surprisingly strong starts in 2009.

Each team, however, hopes to bounce back from a loss when they meet Saturday night at Washington's Verizon Center.

After allowing an average of 70 points in winning its first three games, Washington (3-1) fell 93-81 at Atlanta on Friday to become the last WNBA team to record a loss in 2009.

Alana Beard had 20 points for the Mystics, who shot 39.7 percent (25 for 63), but couldn't stop the Dream from shooting 45.9 percent (34 for 74) or outrebounding them 46-31.

"They killed us on the offensive boards and in the paint,'' said Beard, who's averaging 17.2 points. "We have to protect the paint. Those are the easy baskets and we did not do that.''

Despite this setback, Washington still leads the East after losing its final nine games during a disappointing 10-24 season in 2008.

Chicago (3-2), meanwhile, is only one-half game behind the Mystics after finishing 12-22 a year ago. Now in their fourth season, the Sky didn't record their third victory until the eighth game the last two years, and their 18th in 2006.

Despite having its three-game winning streak snapped in a 91-61 loss at Connecticut on Friday, Chicago still has confidence as it tries to maintain the best start in franchise history.

"We are not going to settle here, we are going to continue to improve," said guard Jia Perkins, who was held to nine points Friday after scoring 25 against the Sun at home on Tuesday. "We want to be a playoff team."

For that to happen, the Sky must play better on the road, where they've allowed 193 points while suffering their two losses. Connecticut shot 47.9 percent (35 for 73) Friday and forced 20 turnovers.

Pick: Over 148

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