No Tina Charles, no problem as Ariel Atkins, Theresa Plaisance lead the Washington Mystics to a 96-93 victory against the Atlanta Dream.
Mystics got off to a slow start, scoring only 13 points in the first quarter. Washington picked it up in the secord quarter, almost doubling their output.
In the fourth quarter, Natasha Cloud made two free throws with 24.6 seconds left to extend Washington’s lead to 92-88 and Atkins added two more on their next possession. Odyssey Sims drilled a 3-pointer from the corner with 4.4 seconds left to pull Atlanta within 94-93. But Atlanta was called for a technical foul and Washington made 2 of 3 free throws before Aari McDonald’s prayer at the buzzer went off the backboard. The Mystics won the third and fourth quarters and ultimately won the game.
Ariel Atkins scored 32 points in 35 minutes, while Theresa Plaisance chipped in 25 points and 6 rebounds. Natasha Cloud had an off game offensively, but chipped in 10 points and 11 assists.
The Mystics were without Tina Charles, who was attending the premiere of her film ‘Game Changer’ at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. The film tells the story of Tanya DePass, an African-American gamer, determined to make the gaming industry more inclusive.
Washington also lost Myisha Hines-Allen to a knee injury. Coach Thibault said she’ll get an MRI on Friday.
The short-handed Mystics have also been without Elena Delle Donne all season, who is still rehabbing from a back injury with no timetable for her return. Emma Meesseman is unlikely to return to the Mystics until after Belgium’s international commitments.