Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne looks to finish inside on Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson
The Washington Mystics season came to an end as the Minnesota Lynx defeated them 81-70 in Game 3 of the semifinals on Sunday. This season proved how far they have come, but it also shows how far they have to go. With the acquisitions of former MVP Elena Delle Donne and WNBA champion Kristi Toliver, expectations were very high for the Washington Mystics. This team battled through the injury bug, Emma Meesseman playing overseas and inconsistent play. As the playoffs started, the Mystics started to gel and even beat the favored New York Liberty on the road.
MVP Sylvia Fowles dominated inside with 17 points and 14 rebounds
With all that being said, they never had an answer for anything the Lynx threw their way. The Mystics lost every matchup with them this season. Unlike the previous four games between the teams this season, the last two semifinal games were very close but the Lynx prevailed because of team health, combined playoff experience and hustle. After the game, Washington gave credit where it was due and know that gave the Lynx their best push. Coach Mike Thibault said "they never gave up and should feel proud about how the season played out" If anything, this season should put the WNBA on notice that the Mystics are poised to be the next powerhouse for years to come. If year one was only the beginning, what will year two hold?
Mystics guard Kristi Toliver shoots a runner, posted 13 points and 5 assist in a losing effort
Takeaways from Game 3
Physicality - On both ends, from beginning to the end the game was tense with hard fouls, there was even a small skirmish midway through the second quarter. You could see the physical play wearing on the Mystics players which definitely affected some of their FG percentage.
Hustle - It just seemed like every time there was a loose ball the Mystics were no where to be found. Even though the Mystics had more offensive rebounds, anyone looking at the game could see that not everyone on the home team brought their playoff intensity.
Too many weapons - It is not fair to have two MVPs in Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles in their prime on the same team not to mention Seimone Augustus in the clip as well. I guess thats how Golden State detractors feel. It just seemed they all stepped in at the perfect time. Definitely looking forward to their finals rematch against the Los Angeles Sparks.
Wasted possessions - With no Ivory Latta due to her injury, the Mystics didn't have a proper flow of on offense. There were possessions that could have change the momentum in the game that ended in turnovers or bad shot selection. The Mystics shot 38.8% and it showed.
Minnesota's lethal duo Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus were locked in all series combining for 39 points in a game three victory