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Mystics vs Sparks Final Score: Washington can’t match L.A.'s firepower; get blown out 97-67

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Turnovers and poor defense plagued the Mystics in their third outing of the season.

Stewart W. Small

Three games into the season and still no wins to show for it. It shouldn’t be surprising: The Mystics are a young team, and they are playing like a young team. But it’s still frustrating to watch. The Sparks broke the game open in the middle of the first quarter, and led by twelve at the half.  The Mystics continued to lose in the ground in the second half, eventually allowing the Los Angeles Sparks to register their second 30-point win of the season.

What went wrong?

Too many things to list in a recap, but a couple big ones were turnovers and help defense. The Mystics gave the ball away an unacceptable 22 times. Tayler Hill and Emma Meesseman were the biggest offenders with four each but this was a team-wide problem. Every player who saw time on the floor turned the ball over at least once.

On the other end, the Mystics struggled just as much. Help was slow, especially on the weakside, and when the Mystics did help they were slow to rotate and recover. Kristi Tolliver, a player who should never find herself open at the three-point line, shot a comfortable 5-6 from behind the arc.

What went right?

It’s tough to find things to praise after a game like this, but guard Bria Hartley deserves some. Starting in place of Natasha Cloud (illness), Hartley put together one of her better performances as a facilitator, dishing seven assists to just one turnover in 25 minutes of play. Historically more of a scoring combo guard, Mystics fans should be excited to see Hartley’s development as a playmaker for others.

What’s next?

The Mystics play the Connecticut Sun tomorrow (Saturday) at 7 p.m.