The Washington Mystics lost their third consecutive game last night, falling to the Las Vegas Aces. As always when these teams meet, there's some type of issue surrounding the game. This time it was faulty shot clocks.
The Aces rallied from a very poor start to get a big win on the road, they keep their hold on first place with the 85-81 win over the Mystics.
A'Ja Wilson and Sydney Colson (pictured above) led the way for the visiting Aces with 17 points a piece, Kayla McBride had 16 and Liz Cambage finished with 13 points. It was a career high for Colson.
Natasha Cloud led Washington with 18 points, Kristi Toliver and Emma Meesseman had 15 points each as well. LaToya Sanders finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Sydney Colson is how the Aces changed their fortunes in this one, after getting hit by a Mystics run that seemed to last the entirety of the first quarter, she came in and took over the game in the second period.
It started with her being a bit more aggressive offensively, using her handle and quickness to get into the lane and either score or find others. Defensively is where she made the most impact, her ball pressure really affected the way Washington ran it's offense. She scored 12 of her 17 points in that pivotal quarter, a huge reason as to how the Aces trailed by just one at the half.
The Mystics were getting up and down in that first quarter, Colson's quickness with the ball coupled with their inability to get stops without fouling really slowed things down for them in the second period..
The third quarter was about the Aces trying to seize more control of the game and Washington making enough shots to keep that from fully happening. Meesseman came alive a bit during that period for Washington, but that's when Colson's teammates started to get comfortable.
The duo of Cambage and Wilson started to wear down that Mystics front line in the fourth. Liz did most of her damage right at the rim while A'ja did most of her work facing up. They also helped their team separate in the rebounding battle late, Washington did a good job for about three quarters. Then the Aces left them behind, winning that battle 41-33.
Still, it was the defense for Las Vegas that helped them get stops late. Cambage had a big offensive rebound and put back to put her team up two. Washington answered a couple times but the ensuing possession after that Cambage rebound resulted in a miss, Wilson and McBride answered to extend the lead in the waning seconds.
Washington didn't get their normal production from their bench, but that second unit has been consistent for the most part this season.
More importantly for Washington, they are now 0-4 when they don't have the services of one Elena Delle Donne. Obviously her absence would hurt any team, but it's not like the Mystics don't have enough capable scorers. They have to find a way to win without her.
Another thing that stood out is over the last two games, Kristi Toliver has only taken 16 shots. Last night two of those came very late off of shaky offensive possessions. Following the loss to the Mercury, Thibault alluded to her lack of touches on that end, saying they have to get her more looks.
This is another example of that, obviously Emma comes back and she's going to get looks, but there were stretches in when the ball didn't find her. She did most of her work off the bounce, which is fine, but she's more than capable of coming off screens and knocking shots down, the ball rarely found her in those situations. Of course some credit goes to the Aces, but that's something else Washington has to tweak when Delle Donne is out.
Despite the three game slide, Washington is in third place in the League standings, they can ill afford for this slide to continue though.