The Washington Mystics had their two-game winning streak stopped in dramatic fashion by the Atlanta Dream 78-101. The game was very much a contest in the early going, with the Dream up by only 2 points at the half, 51-49. But the Mystics had no answer for the fast-paced offense and swarming defense of the Dream and just couldn’t hang with Atlanta for much of the second half.
Myisha Hines-Allen scored 16 points and had 6 rebounds, and Tina Charles had 13 points and 7 rebounds. Ariel Atkins had 15 points to go along with 4 steals.
Prior to the game, Natasha Cloud had been questionable with pain in her hip flexor. Though Cloud started and played 25 minutes, Coach Mike Thibault had her out of the game for much of the second half.
The Dream got decent contributions off the bench from Theresa Plaisance (10 points in 18 minutes) and Kiara Leslie (6 points and 7 rebounds in 19 minutes).
During their two-game win streak, the Mystics had looked especially strong in the third quarter. In this one, it was the Dream who stepped into another gear, outscoring the Mystic 28-17 in the third. The Dream made 50.7% of their field goals and shot 44.8% from deep. Courtney Williams scored 21 points on 8 of 13 shooting, and Odyssey Sims had 20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals in a triumphant return to her All-Star form.
The Mystics turned the ball over 17 times and looked out of rhythm for much of the game. The Dream were simply too fast and too consistent down the stretch.
This was the first time the Mystics and Dream had faced each other this season. As Dream announcers LaChina Robinson and Angel Gray reminded viewers at home, last season, on August 26, 2020, the Washington Mystics and the Atlanta Dream collectively decided to strike after the shooting of Jacob Blake. Elizabeth Williams of the Dream and Ariel Atkins of the Mystics made statements to the media in a powerful show of unified protest against racism and police brutality. The rest of the WNBA followed suit.
The Mystics and Dream last saw each other when they played for the eighth and final playoff spot in the 2020 Wubble Season. The Mystics triumphed in that game 85-78. This afternoon, the Dream played as though they had a chip on their shoulders and something to prove. The crowd at the Gateway Center Arena in Atlanta was loud and full of joy and enthusiasm for their team.
The Mystic won’t have to wait long for another chance at their rivals from Atlanta. The teams will play again on Thursday in DC.
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Photo Credit: Washington Mystics Twitter