Just two weeks ago, the Mystics edged the Sky 84-82 after two clutch free throws from Natasha Cloud with seconds left in regulation.
Last night, it was the exact same scenario for the Mystics, only in reverse as they watched Nneka Ogwumike drain her 20th and 21st point of the night to set the score 82-84 in Los Angeles and give the W to the Sparks.
With 10.4 seconds left in regulation the Mystics had a chance to send the game to overtime or even a possible win but
The 10 year veteran from Stanford, Nneka Ogwumike. also had 3 steals, and overall the Mystics were forced to 17 turnovers off of 11 steals from the Sparks.
The Sparks led for much of the game. The first half ended at 31-35 for the Sparks.
Late in the fourth the Mystics went on a late run to bring things as close as 78-80 following two free throws by Ariel Atkins with less than 25 seconds left. Just 2 seconds later Natasha Cloud fouled Canada and sent her to the line, but Canada drained both for a 4 point cushion, 78-82. The Mystics didn’t give up and Natasha Cloud made a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left to bring it as close it was for a while, 81-82. At that point the Mystics fouled who drained her free throws to put it at 81-84. The Mystics then got a lifeline as Sykes fouled Natasha Cloud on a 3-point attempt with just 2.5 seconds in regulation. Cloud made the first, missed the second, and then missed the third but the team couldn’t grab the rebound, in fact the Sparks star Nneka Ogwumike did — and that was the game.
Atkins had herself a night with 22 points with 3-of-7 shooting from deep, while Cloud added 13 with perfect 3-of-3 from deep and no less than 13 assists. Myisha Hines-Allen added 17 and 8 boards, and Alysha Clark had a quiet 7 on 3-of-7 shooting in just 23 minutes, while and Shakira Austin had a quiet night as well with 4 points on 2-for-8 from the field and 6 rebounds. Delle Donne didn’t play.
Overall, it was disappointing to throw away an excellent shooting night from downtown 11-for-23 for the team, but at least it was close.
Here are the highlights.