Mystics enter ‘do or die’ mode in Wings rematch

National Sports

Washington forward Theresa Plaisance didn’t dance around the fact that the Mystics’ backs are up against the wall at this point in the WNBA season.

Plaisance and the Mystics hope to begin changing that position Saturday night when they host the Dallas Wings for the second time in three days in the nation’s capital.

The Mystics (9-15) are 2-9 in their last 11 outings and are 10th overall in the WNBA standings after an 82-77 loss to the Wings (11-14) Thursday at home.

“We have to make sure we come in ready to go, that we are locked in and focused,” Plaisance said after scoring 13 in Thursday’s loss. “We have no room for error anymore. It’s do or die for us. We need to play like this is the playoffs.”

Washington listed two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne (back) as questionable after she played just 12 minutes before exiting Thursday’s game. She will likely be a game-time decision.

Thursday’s contest was just Delle Donne’s third since she underwent two back surgeries and was sidelined for 22 months.

Dallas comes in looking to build on the momentum it gained in Thursday’s win where Arike Ogunbowale and Isabelle Harrison scored 26 and 21 points, respectively. It marked the Wings’ fifth win in their last 11 games.

Dallas also holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Washington in the playoff race, going 2-0 against the Mystics so far. Saturday’s is the final meeting between the two teams in 2021.

Dallas trailed 43-34 at halftime Thursday and 59-58 heading into the fourth before grinding out the victory.

“I think it’s something we’ve talked about, closing games, staying together and not falling apart when things get tough,” Ogunbowale said. “Especially with them being at home and us being away, we had to rally together. We relied on each other, communicated with each other and that’s how we got the win.”

Washington will again be without Tina Charles. The former MVP of the league is having one of the best seasons of her career and is expected to be out at least two more games due to a left gluteal strain.

“She’s doing rehab with doctors in New York right now,” Mystics head coach Mike Thibault said.

–Field Level Media

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