Oct 2

Arena at Gwinnett Center to host WNBA Finals


By: Will Hammock 

Published: September 30, 2013

The WNBA Finals are coming to the Arena at Gwinnett Center, a familiar place for at least one of the Atlanta Dream's opponents.

Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore, who won three state championships as a high school star at Collins Hill, hoisted her state title trophies in the Duluth venue. She wouldn't mind lifting her second WNBA championship trophy there next week, when the Dream hosts its home portion of the best-of-five series in Gwinnett.

The Dream's usual home, Philips Arena, isn't available for the WNBA Finals because it has "Disney on Ice: Let's Celebrate!" in town.

Minnesota has the home-court advantage, so it will host Games 1 and 2 of the series. The series kicks off Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN, with Game 2 planned for Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. for an ESPN2 broadcast.

The Dream will host Game 3 Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8:30 p.m. at the Gwinnett arena, as well as Game 4 if necessary Sunday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. Both of those games are planned for ESPN2.

Game 5 would shift back to Minnesota on Oct. 16, for an 8 p.m. game on ESPN.

The Dream swept Indiana in the Eastern Conference finals, closing the best-of-three series Sunday night with a 67-53 win. Angel McCoughtry scored 27 to lead Atlanta, while Erika DeSouza added 12 points.

Minnesota also swept in the Western Conference finals, beating the Phoenix Mercury 72-65 in Sunday's Game 2. Moore scored a game-high 27 in that clinching victory.

Moore has played great in the postseason, averaging 21.5 points on 52.4 percent shooting. She ranked third in the WNBA during the regular season with a career-best 18.5 scoring average.

McCoughtry led the league in scoring at 21.5.