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Mystics vs Lynx Game 3 recap: Washington eliminated from WNBA playoffs in 81-70 loss

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 17: Kristi Toliver #20 and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt #14 of the Washington Mystics high five each other during the game against the Minnesota Lynx in Game Three of the Semifinals during the 2017 WNBA Playoffs on September 17, 2017 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Washington Mystics lost 81-70 at home on Sunday afternoon, and were eliminated from the playoffs by the overwhelming favorite to win the series, the Minnesota Lynx.

First quarter 18-16 was all the usual suspects from the Lynx. Maya Moore got hot early, and if it wasn’t for some terrific buckets by Elena Delle Donne, this game would have been out of hand from the jump.

Washington took control early in the second quarter as Emma Meesseman found her groove and scored six straight points after a couple excellent defensive stops. The Lynx then responded to turn the tide and but the Mystics had a one point lead, 39-38 heading into halftime.

At the half, the Mystics were shooting a paltry 40 percent while Minnesota shot 47 percent. Washington stayed in the game due to grit and good ball movement.

Washington was outscored 21-14 in the third quarter and 22-17 in the fourth quarter as the Lynx pulled away to win the game and sweep the series.

Game Notes

Emma Meesseman just could NOT find her shot down the stretch

Shooting two for 14 is just not how she shoots the ball. It made the difference, for sure. She had some terrific defensive stops, but she did not get her offensive game going, and the Mystics could not hang with Minnesota’s firepower.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt had a great game!

She was a defensive menace and scored 14 points.

Final thoughts

Regardless of the outcome, I was happy to see the Mystics meet expectations. There were few and far-between folks that thought Washington would win a series against Minnesota or Los Angeles, the top two — veteran— squads this year.

I think they definitely showed that they have the pieces, but lack the game-play, practice and experience right now to weather deep playoff teams is what they lack, and can be addressed.

I am optimistic.