It’s a must win on Sunday as the Washington Mystics failed to clinch the final playoff spot in the 91-80 loss to the New York Liberty. It just seemed New York wanted it more as they knew a loss would end their playoff hopes.
And that's it. The Liberty pull into a tie with the Mystics for the final playoff slot as Washington loses 91-80.— Kareem Copeland (@kareemcopeland) September 18, 2021
Mystics have to win Sunday to get in as New York now holds the tiebreak.
Liberty's regular season is done. L.A. still has a game left and could get in with Wash loss
The Liberty came out blazing as Washington couldn’t get it together and just looked flat on the court without Head Coach Mike Thibault who is out due to WNBA health and safety protocols.
Ariel Atkins had a game-high 29 points but seemed to be the only hot hand as the next leading scorer was Shatori Walker-Kimbrough with 12 points. Potential MVP candidate Tina Charles was held to just 10 points in 38 minutes of play which was shocking considering the implications of the game.
As for the Liberty, Natasha Howard and Sabrina Ionescu combined for 46 points. Howard was 11-13 and demolished Washington’s defense.
If Washington wanted any hopes of making the playoffs now it’ll have to be back at home facing the Minnesota Lynx who have already clinched a playoff berth sitting in third place. No game is easy no matter what the team record is or what the stakes are but the Mystics playoff dreams are now down to one final game against a team that has nothing to lose.
Washington will host the Lynx on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET and it’s another win and they are in, but if they lose then the season is over.