Cardell Dudley Jr
Mystics Beat The Dream To Sweep Season Series
Washington, led by Elena Delle Donne and a tenacious team defense, pulled away in the fourth quarter to take a 85-66 win over Atlanta, completing a season sweep. Delle Donne finished with a season high 26 points, nine of which coming in the fourth quarter, while Myisha Hines Allen added 14 points and 6 rebounds off the bench and Natasha Cloud posted 13 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists on 5-9 shooting from the field.
Forward Monique Billings posted a near double double with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals on 4-6 shooting to lead Atlanta. Tiffany Hayes, rookie standout Rhyne Howard and Cheyenne Parker each added 10 points respectively.
The Mystics defense was huge in their win over the Dream. They held Atlanta to 0-12 shooting from 3-point range and forced 15 turnovers.
Elena Delle Donne: played her best game of the season and the Mystics needed every bit of it. It wasn't that she scored her season high 26 points on 10-17 shooting from the field, grabbed 8 rebounds as well, it was HOW she did her damage that was encouraging. Delle Donne looked far more agile and bouncy than she has all season, a sign that her back is getting stronger and rounding back into form. She went to the post more, scored out of up and under's , step backs, fadeaways etc. Simply put, Delle Donne looked a lot more like Delle Donne and I'm sure the Mystics left the game happy to see that familiar version of her.
Mystics Perimeter Defense: was suffocating. Ariel Atkins, Natasha Cloud and Alysha Clark did a remarkable job of holding Atlanta starting guards Tiffany Hayes, Rhyne Howard and their sniper off the bench Kristy Wallace (nearly 36% from 3-point range) inefficient throughout the game, with the Dream guard trio shooting a combined 9-29 from the field and 0-9 from deep. It was just another example of how Washington can beat you in a myriad of ways when they're on their game. The goal for the second half of the season for the Mystics, is to maintain this level of excellence defensively. If they do, they will be hell to deal with.
Reserves Stepped Up: two especially in Myisha Hines-Allen and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. Hines-Allen and Walker-Kimbrough combined for 26 points and 7 rebounds on 10-17 shooting from the field. They matched the point production of Atlanta's entire bench (26) themselves. It was a beautiful sight to see and a nice rebound by the reserves coming off Washingtons loss to Connecticut. This win was a great way to go into all star break, to rest up, get as healthy as possible and prepare for the home stretch of the WNBA season with the playoffs fast approaching in August.