MINNEAPOLIS (AP)Natasha Cloud scored all 19 of her points in the first half, Shakira Austin had a double-double in her first career start and the Washington Mystics beat the Minnesota Lynx 78-66 on Sunday night.
Cloud added six rebounds and six assists. Austin, the No. 3 overall pick out of Ole Miss in last month’s draft, finished had 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 10 rebounds. Ariel Atkins had 20 points and five assists and Myisha Hines-Allen added 11 points and eight boards. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 10 points.
Jessica Shepard led Minnesota (0-2) with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Sylvia Fowles had 13 points and eight boards. Reserves Yvonne Turner finished with 11 points and Odyssey Sims added 10.
Cloud hit three 3-pointers and had a three-point play to help Washington (2-0) grab a 24-19 lead after one quarter. Cloud scored five points in the first minute of the second period to push the lead to 10 points.
Austin moved into Elena Delle Donne’s starting spot. Delle Donne, who had 21 points and nine rebounds in the Mystics’ season-opening win over Indiana, sat out the second game. Delle Donne has undergone two surgeries for a herniated disk in the past year and had played just 52 minutes before this season since leading Washington to the WNBA title in 2019.
The Lynx shot just 22.6% (7 of 31) in the first half, including 1 of 7 from 3-point range. The Mystics outscored Minnesota 21-4 in the second quarter to take a 47-23 lead into halftime.
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