The Mystics got back on track with an impressive 88-72 win over the Sky on Friday night, in which they made 11 of their 23 shots from downtown while limiting Chicago to just 4-of-21 shooting from the same range.
Even though the Mystics had a clear shooting advantage and controlled the glass, the Sky still made the game tense at times. Washington and Chicago played to a virtual draw in the first and third quarters, but the Mystics made their mark in the other two quarters, where they outscored Chicago by 17.
Elena Delle Donne and Ariel Atkins did the heavy lifting for the Mystics on both of their big runs. Delle Donne scored 25 and made several bailout shots that kept the offense from bogging down in tight moments.
Atkins scored a career-high 25 points (on just 14 shots!) and added 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals to boot. The Sky put her in some situations where she had to hit tough shots, but she responded masterfully.
The Mystics didn’t get much from their backcourt, as Kristi Toliver and Natasha Cloud only combined for 21 points on 18 shots, but all of Toliver’s threes came on high-difficulty shots at critical times. First, she hit this leaner to beat out the shot clock early in the third quarter:
Then she hit a deep three near the end of the quarter to snap a 16-2 run by the Sky, and then hit a fading three in the corner to put the Mystics back up by double-digits and effectively put the game out of reach.
Washington needed a confidence-building win after Wednesday’s loss to the Dream and they got it. Now, they’ll hit the road for the next four games as they take on Atlanta, Dallas, New York, and Connecticut before the All-Star Game.