The Washington Mystics will look to build on their recent breakthrough performance when they square off against the enigmatic Dallas Wings on Thursday for the first of two meetings in three days in the nation’s capital.
The Mystics (9-14) snapped a four-game losing streak on Tuesday with a 78-68 home victory over Los Angeles. It was Washington’s first win since July 10, before the five-week Olympic break.
Myisha Hines-Allen led Washington with 19 points in the win while Elena Delle Donne added 18 (all in the first half), and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Ariel Atkins scored 10 each. The Mystics were up by 33 points at halftime, scored just 22 points in the second half and held on.
“That was as complete a game as we’ve had for a long period of time,” Mystics coach and general manager Mike Thibault said. “We moved the ball. We shot a great percentage. High number of assists. We got to the free throw line. We took care of the basketball.”
Delle Donne played in just her second game in 22 months after needing multiple back surgeries.
Tuesday’s game was the second of a season-long five-game homestand for the Mystics, who begin the two-game series against Dallas in 10th place, a half-game behind the Wings in the league standings.
The Wings head to D.C. after a heartbreaking 83-81 loss at home to short-handed Indiana on Friday. Dallas led by as many as a dozen and was up by eight points with under four minutes to play before the Fever countered with an 8-1 run to pull within 81-80 on a Danielle Robinson layup with 1:06 remaining.
After an empty Dallas possession, Robinson dribbled down the clock and drove the lane for the decisive basket and free throw with 7.2 seconds left.
“It’s about mental toughness, and it’s a test,” Wings coach Vickie Johnson said after the loss to Indiana. “We didn’t get the job done, as individuals and as a whole. We allow teams to hang around. We owe it to our fans to do better. We owe it to ourselves to do better.”
Isabelle Harrison scored 22 points for Dallas (10-14), which has dropped two of its three games since returning from the Olympic break. Marina Mabrey and Arike Ogunbowale scored 18 and 14 points, respectively, for the Wings.
Ogunbowale has now scored in double figures in a team-record 61 consecutive games.
Dallas defeated the Mystics 85-74 at home in the teams’ first matchup of the season.
–Field Level Media