The Washington Mystics and the Seattle Storm have identical 18-11 records with just two weeks left in the regular season.
Currently holding the fourth and fifth slots in the WNBA playoff chase, they will square off in back-to-back games this weekend in the nation’s capital starting on Saturday afternoon.
Washington extended its winning streak to three games by shooting 56.4 percent from the field in an 87-77 win at Dallas on Thursday night.
Natasha Cloud, who scored 14 points in the win over the Wings, said that the team understands the importance of the stretch of games coming up.
“(There’s) not a message,” Cloud said to The Washington Post. “We’re all just under the understanding that it’s one day at a time, one game at a time.”
The Mystics and Storm met previously on June 23 and Washington coach Mike Thibault said his players know what to expect.
“It’s a big weekend, obviously,” Thibault told the Post. “Very little prep time for either team. We played them a month ago, and they haven’t changed a lot other than (adding former Mystic) Tina (Charles). We haven’t faced them with her. It’s kind of come out and just play.”
Seattle won the first meeting 85-71, but the Storm have lost three of their past four contests. They fell 88-83 to the host Connecticut Sun on Thursday.
Storm guard Sue Bird said she knows what went wrong down the stretch against the Sun and what the team needs to fix going forward.
“We just didn’t make the plays and they did,” she told The Seattle Times. “Games do come down to final possessions, don’t get me wrong, and you want to be able to come through in those moments. But if you look at the game as a whole, I think it was more turnovers, points off turnovers, because those are controllables.”
Breanna Stewart leads Seattle and the rest of the WNBA with 21.1 points per game, to go along with 7.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals. Elena Delle Donne paces Washington with 17.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
–Field Level Media