When: Sunday, September 19 at 3 p.m. ET
Where: Entertainment and Sports Arena, Washington, DC
How to watch: ESPN3, NBC Sports Washington, TSN2
Mystics: Elena Delle Donne (Back, Out); Alysha Clark (Foot, Out for season)
Lynx: Layshia Clarendon (Leg, Questionable);
This is it. The Washington Mystics have one more chance to secure a playoff spot after losing to the New York Liberty 91-80 Friday night. They will face the Minnesota Lynx at home for their final regular season game. The Mystics beat the Lynx in June by 4 then fell to them in September by 18 points. In their most recent loss to Minnesota, Tina Charles had just returned from missing 4 games due to a left gluteal strain. She only put up 12 points in that game and similarly only had 10 points in Friday’s game against the Liberty. The Mystics are going to need her to put up much more offensively if they want that playoff spot. Charles will have to work through Sylvia Fowles and Napheesa Collier in the paint.
In addition to the Mystics needing Charles to make much more of an impact offensively, the team needs Ariel Atkins to have another great night. Atkins put up 25 points in the team’s Sept. 4 matchup in Minnesota and is coming off a great game. The guard put up a team-high 29 point against the Liberty and kept them in the battle when it seemed like New York was making every shot. New York shot 51.6 percent from the field and finished 45.5 percent from beyond the arc.
The Lynx have won their last three games and have already secured their playoff spot. It’s win or season over for the Mystics. How bad do they want to extend their season?