In a game that treated viewers to hefty leads and wild comebacks, the Minnesota Lynx (18–9) routed the Washington Mystics (10–17), 93–75, in the Twin Cities on Saturday night.
After both teams combined to shoot 0-for-5 from the field to start the match, the Lynx opened the scoring with a Napheesa Collier (21 points, nine rebounds) offensive rebound and put-back. After missing the past four games with a left gluteal strain, Tina Charles (12 points, eight boards) scored the first four points for the Mystics on the night. Despite the two sides going 3-for-14 from the field, the pace of play was electric, and the Lynx held a 24–19 lead after one.
Five consecutive points for the hosts made the overall run 12–0, which forced Mystics Head Coach Mike Thibault to ask for a break. Shavonte Zellous and Charles helped even things out, but Rachel Banham (13 points, eight assists off the bench) nailed a three from the right side.
Things went from bad to worse for Washington. The Mystics went almost five minutes without scoring and saw Minnesota extend their run to 25–4. When the away side finally saw the ball drop, they found themselves down by 20. At the end of the first half, Washington, which was outscored 26–16 in the second, was shooting 13-for-39 from the floor.
In the third, with the Mystics riding a 24–4 run, the visitors got within four. Five points in three minutes from Megan Gustafson helped the Mystics score on 12 of their 18 possessions in the third. With one quarter to play, the team from the nation’s capital faced a four-point deficit.
Just as things were beginning to improve, the Lynx flipped the game on its head; Minnesota scored 18 unanswered points to start the fourth quarter to put the contest away. Go down the box score and a litany of reasons contributed to the blowout loss: the Mystics scored just 13 points in the fourth quarter; bench points (Min: 39, Was: 18); shooting from the field (Min: 36-for-68, Was: 29-for-75); players with a positive plus-minus (Min: seven, Was: one).
For the Mystics, Natasha Cloud had 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. On the other side, Aerial Powers, who matched up against her former club for the first time, put up a season-high 20 points off the bench. Kayla McBride also contributed 15 points and four helpers for the Lynx.
The Mystics’ grueling road trip continues on Tuesday against the Seattle Storm. Tip-off is at 10 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on CBSSN.