Mystics 

Washington’s rally fall short in the desert

The Washington Mystics  fell to the Phoenix Mercury yesterday afternoon 78-74. It would be the Mystics fourth consecutive loss, putting them at 0-4 on this road trip. They have one more game out West before returning home, Friday against Seattle.

There were a few similarities in this contest and the one that took place in June at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. While Washington didn’t start off nearly as bad and never trailed by as many as 17, the visiting Mystics did have to rally to get back into this contest. However, Phoenix wasn’t nearly as sharp offensively this time round.

Both teams shot under 40% from the floor, the Mercury at 38% and the Mystics at 37%. It was a physical game from opening tip until the final buzzer.

The big three of Diana Taurasi, Britteny Griner, and DeWanna Bonner led the way for the home team. The trio accounted for 56 of the team’s 78 points, Griner led the way with 22. She did a great job of taking what the defense gave her, passing out of double-teams and scoring in one-on-one situations. Bonner was a thorn in Washington’s side most of the night, hitting timely shots to end Washington runs.

Washington used a run in the third quarter to cut a 9 point deficit to two and went on a similar run in the fourth quarter to tie the game. The Mystics had a chance late after a furious rally, but it was just about execution. Emma Meesseman had a chance to put the team up when the score was tied at 74, but her deft touch wasn’t with her as she tried to bank a shot out of the post. She led Washington with 22 points and hit two big three pointers.

The Mystics perimeter players had a couple of looks in the quarter as well, but weren’t able to capitalize. Tayler Hill finished with 15 points, but like most players in this game, she struggled from the field. The Mystics got good production from their bench, Tianna Hawkins and Kahleah Copper provided them with energy and effort along with a combined 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Bria Hartley chipped in with 9 points and Ivory Latta had 8. Washington is one of the better shooting teams from distance and got some great looks against Phoenix, the shots just didn’t drop.

It wasn’t the best of trips out West, but the Mystics have a chance to head home with some momentum with a win in Seattle. Then there’s two games in D.C. before the Olympic break.

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