The Washington Mystics will aim to complete a four-game season sweep of the Atlanta Dream when they travel to College Park, Ga. for a Wednesday night contest.
Washington’s three wins over Atlanta this season have come by an average of 14.3 points, including a 92-74 home romp on June 28.
The Mystics (13-10) figure to be glad to see Atlanta (10-11) after blowing a 17-point, third-quarter lead during Sunday’s 74-72 overtime loss to the Connecticut Sun in the opener of a four-game road trip.
Washington scored 49 points in the first half and tallied just 23 after intermission.
“I think we stopped being as aggressive,” Mystics guard Ariel Atkins, who scored 18 points, said afterward. “In the first half, you saw us with our eyes up, looking down the floor, looking down the lane… I don’t think I was as aggressive in the second half, as far as not only hunting shots but hunting shots for my teammates as well.”
Two-time league MVP Elena Delle Donne was held out to rest her back but is slated to return against the Dream.
Atlanta has won two straight games after losing seven of its previous eight.
The Dream delivered an impressive 90-76 home win over the Seattle Storm on Sunday behind 21 points from Cheyenne Parker.
Atlanta still feels the residual effect of last week’s beatdown against Washington. The Dream trailed by as much as 27 points.
Rookie guard Rhyne Howard scored just five points on 2-of-14 shooting in that contest for her second clunker of the season against Washington. The All-Star was scoreless and missed all nine of her shots in a 70-50 road loss on May 24.
Howard had 21 points when the Dream dropped a 78-73 home decision to Washington on May 20.
The No. 1 overall pick has five 20-point outings this season but has failed to reach the mark in the past eight games. The Kentucky product is averaging 15.3 points per game on the year. She did have 16 points in the Dream’s win on Sunday over the Storm.
“Teams have definitely started keying on me and started roughing me up, and taking me out of my game,” Howard told USA Today. “So just learning how to adjust to that within the game.”
Washington has won 11 of its past 12 regular-season meetings with Atlanta.
–Field Level Media