The Mystics got off to a slow start Friday evening in a marquee match up with the league-leading L.A. Sparks. A big rally in the second half tied the game after Washington had trailed by as many as 20 on the night, but the Mystics couldn’t quite topple the Sparks, falling 97-86. Coach Mike Thibault expressed to reporters postgame that the team would point to this loss as an example of how it should be in every game if it plays the right way for all four quarters. Thibault reiterated support for his starting five, pointing to Wednesday’s victory over the Sun as proof that one game does not create cause to overreact.
Unfortunately for the Mystics, Friday proved to be the wrong night to go cold from beyond the 3-point arc. While the Sparks hit an electric 80% from deep, the Mystics struggled and closed the night with a 36.4% three-point percentage. The numbers did not get much better from the rest of the field; where the Mystics shot just 44.9% to the Sparks’ 62.5% overall mark.
Don’t Call it a Comeback
Washington rallied hard to erase the 18-point hole they found themselves in at the end of the first half. A 17-5 run by the Mystics fueled by renewed energy and a fired up crowd helped chip Los Angeles’ lead down to eight in the third quarter. Things continued to come up D.C. as the Mystics tied the game deep in the fourth, but the Sparks answered with a run of their own to fight back and ultimately shut down Washington down the stretch.
Hats off to the Tar Heels
Next to Elena Delle Donne, who logged 18 points for the night, the Mystics’ go-to was Tierra Ruffin-Pratt. Off the bench, TRP brought home 14 points and 2 assists for the game that could have been a comeback for the books. LaToya Sanders was also impressive on the night, scoring 12 points and adding 11 rebounds on the night.
Up Next: Look to the Sky
The Mystics welcome the Chicago Sky on Tuesday, June 19, to Capital One Arena. The game sets up both teams for a back-to-back series with a rematch coming at the end of the week against in Chicago (Friday, June 22).