The Washington Mystics ended a one-game losing streak, pushing past the Dallas Wings by a final score of 84-68 on the road.
On a night where there were evidently as many Elena Delle Donne Washington Mystics jerseys as there were Arike Ogunbowale Dallas jerseys, poured in points to lead the Mystics in front of the College Park Center crowd.
Following health and safety protocols, Natasha Cloud returned after missing just two games against Las Vegas and Dallas.
Delle Donne scored the first three points for Washington — a free throw and a bucket inside. Myisha Hines-Allen hit a three to follow from a Shatori Walker-Kimbrough feed to cut the lead to 11-6. But Dallas had little trouble getting the ball inside as Marina Mabrey scored the first of many buckets down low. She and Kayla Thornton ripped off a 4-0 run while Hines-Allen picked up an early injury as Dallas led 13-6.
Kennedy Burke and Shakira Austin both checked in at the 3:22 mark for Washington. Burke had an aggressive drive on her first catch and the Dallas crowd disapproved. She and Austin both played well but Dallas still led 19-14 at the end of the first quarter.
On her second shot, Walker-Kimbrough finished a 3-pointer to make the score 19-17. Every time Walker-Kimbrough did something positive, the Dallas crowd responded accordingly with groans.
After making her first shot, Delle Donne found a bit of rhythm to get Washington the tie at the 9:21 mark after a mid-range bank shot. Delle Donne was forced to relax with her second foul at 8:06 as her understudy Austin came in for support.
With the woman-to-woman defense offering little resistance, Thornton scored inside for Dallas and a Mabrey triple had the Wings back up five, but Natasha Cloud got going on a made triple from the outside. Then, an Austin score had Washington within two with 6:05 to go in the half.
Then Rui Machida began heating up, tying the game on a layup after Austin pushed the ball ahead. Yet Dallas continued to score as Allisha Gray scored outside and Isabelle Harrison made a pair of free throws.
With the half winding down, Austin went two-for-two from the line with 3:34 left in the half. And once again it was Austin for the Mystics — she answered with a wide open cutting layup. Cloud quickly went the other way and hit with 1:05 remaining.
Washington went into the break with a 37-34 lead. Mabrey scored 14 first half points as Dallas shot 9-26 from the field and 6-10 for three. Delle Donne scored 7 as Washington finished the half 13-30 from the floor and 4-9 from deep.
Out of the intermission, Washington quickly extended the lead on a Austin jumper.
Then Austin happened again. She made a putback layup to put Washington up seven. She rotated off her matchup down low, rose above the driver, and sent a shot back.
Washington never looked back from there. The Mystics began looking inside to Delle Donne and she rewarded her teammates with finishes inside. Cloud added another three outside and Alysha Clark scored to make it 47-39. All the while, Dallas looked out of sorts on offense as Washington forced early second half mistakes, notably as Clark got her hand in the passing lane leading to steals and transition buckets.
Then it was Walker-Kimbrough’s turn. She ripped off four straight points with a mid-range jumper and running layup in transition to give Washington a 62-47 lead that all but put Dallas away.
Commanding a 20-point, the Wings failed to make a run at Washington down the stretch.
Shakira Austin led all scorers with 20 points on 9-11 shooting to go along with 2 assists, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Elena Delle Donne finished with 14 points on 5-11 shooting. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 11 points while Natasha Cloud finished with 10.
Washington shot 34-66 for the game and 8-16 from three. Dallas finished 25-61 from the floor and 7-21 from three. Washington had a 37-27 rebounding edge.
Washington travels to Atlanta on Friday to take on the Dream. That game tips at 7:30 p.m. ET and airs on Monumental Sports Network.