After a good homestand in which Washington went 4-1, they’ve had trouble on their road trip this month. Falling to the best team in the league last night on the road, the Los Angeles Sparks won their 18th game of the season 93-82. Candace Parker was magnificent, nearly missing a triple-double with a line of 26 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists.
Washington hung around for quite a while, it was a close game before L.A. went on a 20-8 run with seven minutes to go. The Sparks would finish strong, going 10 of 16 in the final period to close things out.
All of the typical barometers for a loss for Washington didn’t ring true, they had just one more turnover than Los Angeles and just three fewer rebounds. It simply came down to executing on the offensive end, the Sparks simply made more shots. Parker wasn’t alone, two other bigs scored 20 points as Nneka Ogumwike finished with 22 points and Jantel Lavender added 20 off of the bench. That trio did most of the damage for LA as they hit just one more three pointer than the visiting Mystics.
Washington was led by Emma Meeseman, she continued her stretch of good play with a 24 point, 7 rebound, 6 assist effort. Tayler Hill struggled to get anything going offensively, going just 2-of-13 from the field. Rookie Kahleah Copper picked up some of the slack with 13 points off the bench, but it wasn’t enough.
The Mystics road trip doesn’t get any easier with Phoenix coming up, in their last match up Washington got off to a slow start before using a furious rally to get back into the game. That game was in D.C. and this one will be on Phoenix’s turf, then they head to Seattle before coming home.
The three game losing streak has moved Washington into a tie with the Fever for third place in the Eastern Conference. In the playoff hunt, the Mystics have fallen to fifth place. The Mystics need to get at least one of the next two games on this road trip with the Fever and the Dream on win streaks.