The Washington Mystics (7–7) saw a three-game winning streak snapped on Thursday night, as the 2019 Champions fell to the L.A. Sparks (6–7), 89–82, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It was all Mystics early on, as Theresa Plaisance (11 points, eight rebounds) and Tina Charles (25, 10) hit back-to-back threes. Charles followed with a two before Amanda Zahui B (17 points, five rebounds, three blocks) ended Washinton’s 8–0 run. Five Los Angeles turnovers through the first six minutes helped the Mystics race to a 16–6 lead.
Washington’s five starters finally got a breather at the first television timeout; the Mystics dressed eight due to an abundance of injuries. L.A. threatened the lead late in the frame, but a 13 first-quarter points from Charles gave the Mystics a six-point lead after 10. Te’a Cooper led the home side with eight points off the bench in the opening period.
In the second, Cooper picked up where she left off, but the Mystics held on even as Charles got a breather on the bench. The second half saw Washington become careless with the ball — committing nine turnovers — and the yellow and gold took advantage. L.A. tied the game at 4:13 and took their first lead of the night at 3:19 once Zahui B knocked down a contested three. The scoreboard change forced Mike Thibault to call for a timeout.
Leilani Mitchell (26 points, six boards) hit a deep shot to tie the game out of the stoppage, and a deep ball from Ariel Atkins helped Washington retake the lead, albeit for a pair of seconds. The sides traded baskets into the break, with the hosts holding a five-point advantage with half the game played.
Mitchell scored the first six points for her team to open the third, and Plaisance added another five. Things started to unravel for the visitors midway through the period — Zahui B got Charles to commit an offensive foul, and Cooper, who finished tied for a game-high 26 points, picked off an errant pass, which led to a layup and a Washington timeout. Injuries or not, both sides came to play, as the greatest lead of the third was five points — the deficit at the beginning of the quarter.
As was the case with the majority of the contest, Washington and L.A. traded points down to the wire. Ultimately, the one-possession match went to the Sparks, with the difference being 20 Washington turnovers that led to 31 points.
The Mystics will finish their road trip this Saturday when they play the Dallas Wings. Tipoff is at 1 p.m. ET.