The Mystics came into Saturday afternoon desperate losing four out of their last five games. Last week, Washington was third place in the WNBA standings and some were wondering whether they could earn a semifinals berth by placing in the top two. Today, the Mystics began in seventh place, and in serious danger of missing the playoffs altogether.
Fortunately, they stopped the bleeding with a 95-78 win over the New York Liberty on the road. Elena Delle Donne led the way with 30 points while Kristi Toliver added 19 more. For the Liberty, Tina Charles led the way with 22 points, but she scored 11 of them in the fourth quarter with the game all but decided.
The Mystics led nearly the entire game, but the Liberty were hanging around for much of the second quarter when both teams were struggling to make shots and turned the ball over left and right. In the first half alone, both teams committed in all.
But in the third quarter, Washington shot 75 percent from the field and held New York to 37.5 percent shooting to outscore them 32-18. In that run, Delle Donne and Toliver scored 28 of those 32 points!
Here are some takeaways from the game:
Elena Delle Donne continues to dominate
Delle Donne was on a hot streak to start the game as she shot a perfect 6 of 6 from the field in the first quarter and 19 points in the first half alone. She also shot a perfect 4 of 4 from the field in the third quarter for another nine points when Washington broke through.
The Mystics still are struggling to win a game from start to finish
On the surface, the Mystics blew out the Liberty. So we should celebrate that.
But the Mystics didn’t have a “perfect game,” in particular during the second quarter. They shot just 31.3 percent from the field. If the Liberty didn’t shoot an equally awful 30.8 percent from the field, they would have likely entered halftime with a deficit instead of an eight point lead.
The Mystics will travel to the Mohegan Sun Casino for their next game when they play the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday, July 24. Tip off is at 7 p.m. EST. The game will be streamed on ESPN3 nationally.