Lynx dominated in final quarter and fall to Mystics

The Washington Mystics dominated in the fourth quarter and beat the Minnesota Lynx 86-79 Friday.

Ariel Atkins scored 18 points and Emma Meesseman 17 for the Mystics, winners of five straight. Five Washington players scored in double figures.

Sylvia Fowles had 16 points and eight rebounds to lead Minnesota (13-13). Danielle Robinson and Damiris Dantas each had 14 points and Napheesa Collier added 13 and nine rebounds.

The Lynx were outscored 30-17 in the final 10 minutes.

Natasha Cloud scored seven points and Elena Delle Donne four as Washington tallied 18 of the first 26 points in the final frame for a 74-70 lead with 3:32 to play.

Minnesota missed seven of its first 10 shots and turned the ball over four times. It finished 5 of 14 with five turnovers.

Dantas drained a 3-pointer to get the Lynx within one, but the Mystics scored the next six points to secure the win.

The big basket was a wide-open 3-pointer from Meesseman with 52.2 seconds left. She finished with 15 points.

Minnesota was terrible in the post last Sunday when it lost 101-78 in Washington, being outrebounded 32-22. It had a 35-23 edge this time.

Washington (19-7) has the league’s best record in large part because of its offense.

The Mystics entered Friday tops in the league in scoring (87.9), shooting (46.9 percent), 3-pointers made (216), assists per game (21.4) and free-throw percentage (.868).

They also turn it over just 11.6 times per game, fewest in the WNBA.

But the Mystics were out of sync and careless with the ball much of the night. Nor did they get to the charity stripe a lot.

After 10 first-quarter free throws, the Mystics did not have another attempt until midway through the third quarter. Finishing 16 of 20, Washington was 27 for 29 in Sunday’s win over the Lynx.

A 3-point play by Fowles put the Lynx up 39-29 with 2:58 left in the second quarter, but back-to-back treys by Aerial Powers and Meesseman were part of a 10-2 run that got the Mystics within two at the break.

Meesseman and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough each scored from outside the arc for a 53-51 Washington lead in the third, but Collier capped an 11-3 surge the rest of the frame with a 3-point play for a 62-56 Lynx lead.

HONORING LITTLE LEAGUERS

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve donned a Maddy Freking Coon Rapids/Andover Little League jersey for pregame activity and wore it under her blazer during the game. Reeve also sent a video message to the team earlier this week.

Freking is the first girl to play in the Little League World Series since 2014. Her team won its first game 2-1 Friday.


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