The Washington Mystics were tested physically by the Dallas Wings en route to their fourth consecutive win, 86-62. The margin of victory doesn't truly show just how tough a game this was between these two teams.
A career high 21 points from Tianna Hawkins (pictured above), 18 points from Aerial Powers led Washington in a game where their depth definitely showed out. Washington's starting backcourt was effective as well as Kristi Toliver and Natasha Cloud scored 14 and 13 points respectively. Both Toliver and Cloud provided some timely shots throughout the game and their team certainly needed it.
The Wings were led by Glory Johnson's 15 points, 11 of which came in the first half. Imani McGee-Stafford chipped in with 11 points as well.
The trend of starting slow on the defensive end continued for the Mystics against the Wings. They weren't able to capitalize off an early 8-2 run, watching as Dallas not only got back in it but took the lead. Johnson and Stevens were huge in the first half, but the most impactful baskets early may have been a pair of back-to-back triples by McCarty-Williams.
Washington trailed by five at the end of one, but there was a stretch in the second quarter when the Mystics were able to find their footing. Tianna Hawkins and Myisha Hines-Allen helped limit the Wings to one possession during their time on the floor together, securing the glass on the defensive end and gaining a few extra possessions on the offensive end. The Mystics were able to regain the lead late in the half, Kristi Toliver responded to a mini-flurry by Glory Johnson with a layup before the buzzer sounded to give Washington a six point lead at the break.
It was clear the Mystics were getting frustrated with the amount of contact that was allowed, especially when they were on offense. By mucking things up, the Wings were able to avoid getting into a shootout with a team that has more weapons than them on that end of the floor.
Delle Donne got a technical foul in the third quarter for expressing her displeasure over the contact from Dallas. Saying after the game "we're playing basketball, not football". However, after the technical the officials did seem to be a bit tighter with the whistle.
Powers and Hawkins were outstanding in the second half, they were much of the reason that Washington carved out a 10 point lead late in the period and were the leaders in the game getting out of hand in the fourth.
Hawkins was knocking down triples, hitting the glass and Powers was attacking from every level of the floor. Tianna continues to show how important of a piece she is to this Mystics roster. Powers is putting all of the tools she has on display, it definitely meant something to her late in the fourth when she hit a three and let out a scream.
Washington outscored Dallas 30-16 in the fourth to blow the game open and secure the win.
Up next, the Mystics head to Connecticut for another crack at the Connecticut Sun and then come back home to host the Seattle Storm on Friday night.