The short-handed Mystics suffered their seventh consecutive loss on Saturday, losing to the Las Vegas Aces 73-88. This was also the seventh consecutive win for the Aces.
Much like Thursday’s game against the Sparks, the Mystics (3-7) kept it just close enough in the first half to make a comeback possible, only to fall apart in the third quarter. The key issues plaguing the team tonight was turnovers. The Mystics had 19 to the Aces 11. Many of those turnovers lead to fast breaks that the Mystics had no way to contain; the Aces (8-2) are too fast and too big and too skilled.
The Mystics also had a particularly difficult time containing the Aces’ dynamic wing players, Angel McCoughtry, Dearica Hamby, and Jackie Young. Young lead the Aces with 16 points off the bench. Dearica Hamby chipped in 14, and Angel McCoughtry scored 11 points in just 12 minutes.
For the Mystics, Ariel Atkins had her second consecutive strong performance with 17 points and Tianna Hawkins added 12 points and seven rebounds. Stella Johnson also played well. Johnson, who just joined the team earlier this week, was thrust into the job of backup point guard due to Shey Peddy’s injury. Johnson had 7 points, a team-high five assists, and four rebounds in 20 minutes of playing time.
Like most of the Mystics’ losses this season, this fundamentally is an issue of personnel. By opening the season 3-0, the Mystics made many of us wonder if they even needed their top-line stars Elena Delle Donne and Tina Charles, floor general Natasha Cloud, and all-around glue player LaToya Sanders to be contenders. Perhaps the Mystics could overcome those absences and play above the sum of their parts.
The Mystics face the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday, August 19 at 7:00 p.m. ET. on NBC Sports Washington and CBS Sports Network.