The Mystics beat the LA Sparks 96-64 on Thursday evening and advanced to the WNBA semifinals for the second year in a row.
Elena Delle Donne led the way with 19 points and 12 rebounds while Latoya Sanders and Ariel Atkins dropped 14 points each. LA’s Candace Parker scored a team-high 16 points. Odyssey Sims added nine points in an otherwise bad game for last year’s WNBA runners up.
The Mystics came out strong and never let go
Washington outscored LA 50-29 in the first half. Every Mystics player that got minutes in the first two quarters, except for Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored. Delle Donne and Tianna Hawkins led with 13 and 10 points respectively in the first half. Washington showed that when they play as a team, they become even harder to beat.
The Mystics gave LA’s top 3 scorers a hard time
Candace Parker led her team with 16 points but it wasn’t easy. She wasn’t noticeably frustrated like she was last week at halftime. In the Sparks first round victory against the Lynx, Chelsea Gray put up 26 points and dished out 6 assists. The Mystics made sure that didn’t happen again for her. She was held to just seven points. Nneka Ogwumike added eight points, well under her season average.
The Mystics have proved that they’re in it to wiin it
Seeing this team come together when it matters most has been incredible to watch. Throughout the regular season there were many ups and downs and it was worrisome to see Elena Delle Donne carry the team on her own most nights. Now, every player on the Mystics has arrived and is battling together.
The Mystics ended the Lynx-Sparks Era of Domination
The Lynx and Sparks made the WNBA Finals in each of the last two seasons. With the Mystics winning tonight, they guaranteed that this year’s WNBA Finals will feature two different teams. Furthermore, since the Mystics will play the Atlanta Dream in the semifinals, the Eastern Conference is also guaranteed a spot in the Finals. In each of the last two years, no Eastern Conference made the Finals.