Earlier today the Mystics hosted a Camp Day game at Capital One Arena and the Phoenix Mercury were the team that enjoyed the environment the most en route to a 91-68 win on the road.
Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner combined for 47 points, Briann January known more for her defense, chipped in with 18 points as the Mercury cruised to victory with a dominant second half.
The Mystics were led by Tianna Hawkins, she scored 24 points. Washington was never on the same page defensively in this one and it cost them dearly, they weren’t all that in tune on the other end either.
The teams traded baskets for much of the first quarter, but the Mercury made their move in the second quarter and it allowed them to take a 49-44 halftime lead.
The second half is where the visitors imposed their will and the train fell completely off the tracks for the home team. As dangerous an offensive team as any in the league, Washington scored just 24 second half points.
Coach Mike Thibault when addressing the media said he can understand them losing when missing some players, but “it’s how they lost” that was concerning to him. He also stated that they “wasted” a great effort from Tianna Hawkins when asked about her performance in this game.
A trend this season, unsettling as it may be is that the Washington Mystics have yet to figure out a way to win when missing one of their big guns. Elena Delle Donne is day-to-day with a facial injury and Emma Meesseman is on her way back from Eurobasket.
The Mystics lost back-to-back games for just the second time this season. Their defense is what has helped them climb to the top of the standings, when missing players the last thing they can afford to do is struggle on that end. Thibault did say that he expects Meesseman to play on Saturday.
Washington doesn’t get much time to mull over this loss, they host the Las Vegas Aces this Saturday night. The loss puts Washington at 9-5 on the year, Las Vegas overtook them for first place as they now sit 10-6.