The Washington Mystics lost to the Minnesota Lynx on Saturday. Seimone Augustus led the Lynx with 21 points while Maya Moore scored 15. For the Mystics, Emma Meesseman led the way by scoring 19 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. In addition, Tayler Hill added 12 points and 6 assists while Ivory Latta added 13 more off the bench.
Overall, this wasn't a bad game. But it drops Washington to 4-7 for the season and 0-5 at home. Right now, I'm debating whether the Mystics should play another home game this season because they just haven't been able to close the deal against anyone. But before I go off on tangents, let's talk about the game in general.
The third quarter cost the Mystics the game
As I mentioned before, the Mystics played well. They were playing neck and neck with the Lynx for the entire first half and were leading 47-45 at halftime. They even outscored in the Lynx in the fourth quarter, 21-15.
The third quarter, however, was a different story. Washington missed 12 consecutive shots over a nearly seven-minute period. This allowed Minnesota to go on a 19-0 run. Ultimately, they were outscored 23-8 in those ten minutes.
It wasn't just the fact that the Mystics were outscored in the aggregate. They were totally destroyed in the post. Sure, the Mystics have one of the best post rotations in the WNBA and the Lynx actually have a better rotation than they do. But they shouldn't have been dominated like they were in the third quarter in these two areas.
- Rebounding - Lynx power forward Rebekkah Brunson grabbed 7 rebounds in the third quarter. The Mystics grabbed three. Two of them were by Ivory Latta. Keep in mind that Meesseman, Stefanie Dolson, and Kia Vaughn were playing most of the minutes in the third quarter, and there is no excuse for them to allow Minnesota to win in the rebounding column like that.
- Post scoring - Sylvia Fowles scored 10 points. The Mystics didn't score 10 points.
The Lynx's superstars were just too much for Washington to stop
Maya Moore was held to just 1 of 8 shooting in the first half of this game. She ultimately scored 15 points.
However, one of the problems for any team playing the Lynx is that their starting lineup is made of four Team USA Olympians. No one else in the WNBA has a starting five as strong as Minnesota, at least on paper. You can slow Moore, or Fowles, or Brunson down, but that allows other players may pick up the slack.
And when Moore wasn't playing well tonight, other star players stepped up. If weren't for Seimone Augustus' 17 first half points, the Lynx would have very well lost this game and we'd be joking that Washington still has Minnesota's number. After all, they did sweep Minnesota last season.
Also, starting point guard Lindsay Whalen did not make the trip to Washington in order to attend her brother's wedding. Perhaps, her absence made this game a little "easier" for Washington. One of Minnesota's weaknesses is bench depth. However, it just so happens that her backup is Renee Montgomery, a one-time WNBA All-Star. She scored 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting before fouling out.
The Mystics forced more turnovers but couldn't convert them to points.
One cliché you often hear in basketball games is that the team that commits fewer turnovers is more likely to win. The Lynx looked a bit fatigued because they played the Atlanta Dream last night. They committed 19 turnovers, and the Mystics scored 21 points off of them.
The Mystics committed 13 turnovers of their own. That's good since they "won" this battle. However, the Lynx still scored 23 points off of them, which negated that statistical advantage.
Washington will travel to Connecticut on Tuesday to play the Sun. Game time is at 7 p.m. Since it's a road game, I have more confidence that they can win this one. But for the love of God, the Mystics have to find a way to win a game at home, and soon!