The Mystics lost to the Lynx on Friday, 98-73 at Verizon Center. The loss also snaps their five game winning streak heading into the game.
The Lynx started this game out strong by racing out to a 33-20 lead in the first. Washington never had much of a counterpunch. I wasn’t surprised to see the Mystics behind after one quarter.
The Mystics were able to get the deficit down to single digits later in the second quarter. But Minnesota countered with another run of their own. Before long, the Lynx headed into half time with a 58-39 lead.
We saw more of the same in the second half. Minnesota kept building on their lead, while Washington had no answer and stumbled their way to 15 turnovers. The Mystics even missed some easy layups in the fourth quarter when the outcome was decided.
For the Mystics, Tayler Hill was the bright spot with 20 points while Ivory Latta also scored 15 more. For the Lynx, four of their five starters scored in double figures, where Sylvia Fowles scored 21 points on 10-15 shooting. Maya Moore and Rebekkah Brunson added 17 each, while Seimone Augustus shot a perfect 6 of 6 from the field for 14 more. In short, the Lynx players had great nights and the Mystics players. had bad ones except Hill and Latta.
There is only one takeaway I have from this game. The Mystics just don’t have the talent to compete with elite teams when their best two players: Elena Delle Donne and Emma Meesseman missed the game due to injury and EuroBasket women training respectively.
This loss also drives home a point that I hammered quite a bit in various ways though others haven’t really done the same: Meesseman will truly be missed while she is out. Washington may have won every game without her until tonight, but the Mystics really could have had her tonight. That 16 point first quarter she had last season seems like a distant memory as I wrote this.
Tianna Hawkins and Krystal Thomas manned the frontcourt tonight, but they were just overmatched by Sylvia Fowles and Rebekkah Brunson.
Again, I wasn’t surprised to see the Mystics blown out when Delle Donne missed the game. But I expected to see a bit more of a fight from the rest of team. Tayler Hill provided that, but the rest of the team just laid a collective goose egg.
In a long season, these games are bound to happen once in awhile. However, this loss also took away a lot of the momentum Washington had coming into tonight. This game was on local TV, and the Mysics won five in a row to get to this point. You just can’t have efforts like this in marquee games like this one against the Lynx and expect to keep building momentum. Yes, Washington was missing its teo frontcourt stars, but I was disappointed to see the poor performance tonight.