Mystics Cut up at Residence vs. Sparks

Enjoying with out three of their starters and within the throes of a three-game shedding streak, the Washington Mystics have been seeking to win, beginning with a two-game residence stand towards the Los Angeles Sparks on the Leisure & Sports activities Area in Southeast D.C.  

In the course of the Friday, Aug. 4 and Sunday, Aug. 6 video games, the Mystics’ push in the direction of the playoff proved profitable, as they eked out wins. 

WNBA All-Star Elena Delle Donne, rising star ahead Shakira Austin, and regular, veteran guard Ariel Atkins have all missed the previous eight video games because of accidents, and it confirmed as they’ve struggled, shedding 5 of the final six video games following a 7-3 begin of the season. 

The trio accounts for over 50% of the group’s offense (42 factors) and rebounding (16 amongst them). 

With out the three gamers’ essential contributions, the Mystics (13-14) have needed to depend on Tianna Hawkins, Natasha Cloud and Brianna Sykes, who’ve stepped up of their absence.  In Friday’s matchup, it was Hawkins who led the way in which with 17 factors, whereas Sykes (with a game-high– eight assists) and Cloud (six rebounds and 7 assists) added to the win. 

Regardless of the much-needed win, there was space for concern, because the Mystics would discover out lower than 48 hours later, after they confronted off towards the Sparks on Sunday. 

 Within the shut win over the Sparks, the Mystics held on, to what seemed to be, a snug eight-point lead with 90 seconds remaining within the fourth quarter.  However the residence group turned the ball over and allowed the guests to shut out robust and provides the hosts one thing to consider within the rematch. 

Sunday’s contest additionally served as a particular occasion for the Mystics.  It was not only a recreation between the 2 groups seeking to make a push for the playoffs, it was “The Mystics Artwork of Ladies’s Well being,” a fruits occasion for the Mystics and WNBA efforts to lift consciousness across the disparities and inequities skilled in ladies’s healthcare. 

It featured artwork displays, verify displays and acknowledgment to such organizations as DC Secure Mothers, Mamatoto Village, Neighborhood of Hope and A. James & Alice B. Clark Basis.  

Greater than 4,035 followers have been in attendance, and there was additionally a “survivor and thriver” second the place individuals have been acknowledged. 

Following a sluggish begin by the Sparks, the Mystics have been in a position to make the most of the quick turnaround.  However the Sparks (10-18), who got here into the sport with their third straight setback, rallied on the play of WNBA All-Star ahead Nneka Ogwunike, who recorded a double-double of 20 factors and 10 rebounds to steer her group. 

Nonetheless, with Hawkins having one other excellent recreation (23 factors), the Mystics have been in a position to rally from 10 down within the third quarter to take a 78-75 benefit with three minutes remaining.  Then identical to that, the Sparks reeled off an 8-0 run in simply 55 seconds to open an 83-75 lead that proved to be the distinction in a 91-83 win over the house group. 

Early experiences are that Donne, Austin and Atkins will likely be making the highway journey, but it surely has not been confirmed that they’ll play. In the meantime, the Mystics should discover a method to transfer up from sixth place within the East, to the High 4 with the intention to make the playoffs over the rest of the season.  

The Mystics journey to play the Phoenix Mercury on Aug. 8 earlier than returning residence towards the Chicago Sky on Sunday, Aug. 13 at 4 p.m.