Mystics wins rematch with Storm


With less than a minute to go, Elena Delle Donne dribbled the field while another former WNBA player (and former teammate) stood on the defensive. She hesitated to dodge and lunged toward the baseline with her left hand while Tina Charles moved her feet. Charles cut off the baseline as the thirteen-star Sue Bird rushed to help, but none of that mattered.

Split into two of the game’s best players, Delle Donne called Charles and made a double grab before putting on a half-hook that shook the edge with 46.5 seconds remaining.

The basket brought the Washington Mystics final points in a 78-75 victory over the Seattle Storm on Sunday in the Washington Mystics rematch. Bounce back from Saturday’s loss. Dele Dawn missed a short sprint over Izzy Magbigor with 14.9 seconds left at the end of Saturday. The basket would have given the Mystics a one-point lead. In it, Washington fell by five in a game with major post-season repercussions.

“We kind of felt like I could move on on the block, especially towards the end of the game,” said Dele Donne. “I was seeing [double teams] On the block during the entire game. But towards the end of the game, the other teams are feeling the tension and need to block the way for the shooters. So I felt like if I caught it and went fast, I would have a chance to score the ball. And this time I just made sure to finish – unlike yesterday. I must learn from your mistakes.”

Last Time: Mystics’ comeback wasn’t short-lived as Storm moved up the rankings

The two teams are now tied for fourth in the WNBA at 19-12, but Storm holds the tiebreak for the playoff classification and will host if they meet in the first round. Five games remain, but teams are on track to fill No. 4 and No. 5 in a playoff with third-placed Connecticut Sun (20-10) by a game and a half.

Sunday’s victory allowed the Mystics to avoid sweeping the three-game season.

“If we play with them in the playoffs, knowing we can beat them is big, knowing we can defend them,” Mystics coach Mike Thibault said. “It is difficult to defend them. They have a lot of players who have played together for a while so their attacking rhythm is very good at the moment. I think that is a confidence booster for us.”

There were 13 changes up front on Sunday – five in the third quarter alone – and nine encounters as teams hit punches and counterpunches throughout the afternoon. 2018 MVP Seattle Breanna Stewart missed what would have been a three-pointer for the game with 4.4 seconds remaining, and Gabe Williams desperately missed with less than a second to the left.

Mystics’ Ariel Atkins took the burden off early and met Stewart with a 23-point game high. Atkins scored her 29th game with 10 extra points to tie ace’s Kelsey Bloom to the top of the league.

Dele Dawn only had six points in the first half but finished with 17 points and six rebounds after Mystics made an effort to get her involved more after the first half. Natasha Cloud had 11 points as the WNBA leader had 21 assists in two games this weekend, including 10 on Sunday. She also became the 32nd player in WNBA history to reach 1,000 assists; She is now in 1001.

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The Mystics became the fifth team to clinch a playoff when the Atlanta Dream lost on Saturday. Their inclusion in the postseason seems to be a given for most of the season, but Atkins didn’t take that for granted.

“It means a lot to me,” she said. “We didn’t make the playoffs last year. I don’t know if you guys remember that, but I do. I remember how it all felt. So it’s big. It’s not easy to do in this league.”

Feeling better and better

Delle Donne played 32 minutes 36 seconds, her third-highest total of the season while she was on a load management routine with her surgically repaired. That was even more impressive considering that he came on the second day of a straight game. Tybalt said she asked to play for more minutes, and the plan is for her to play on Tuesday against the visiting Las Vegas Ice team.

“It’s really exciting to be able to get through such a straight run,” said Dele Donne. “This was such a big challenge that we kind of wanted to see how I would respond to it, and I’m doing really well. After the game [Saturday], I had a few hours of treatment, and then today I came in very early to start my work. I’ll spend some time then. and then [Monday is] Great recovery day, and after that we have a really good team in Vegas. So I’m excited about how I can respond at this point in the season.”

Over the next seven days, the Mystics face the Aces (22-8), the Chicago Sky (23-7) and the Los Angeles Sparks (12-17). The first two teams are the top teams in the league, and Los Angeles holds eighth and final place in the playoff.

The Mystics have an added motive to get Sparks out of the watershed picture: Washington could swap a first-round pick in Los Angeles thanks to a trade that sent Dream to the first pick in the 2022 draft — and Thibault likes that to be a lottery pick.