It was another loss for the Washington Mystics, their sixth in the last seven games. They failed to win a second straight game for the first time in two seasons. And Coach Trudi Lacey sought a moment for instruction.
Mystics vs. Silver Stars: Washington misses chance to capture second straight win 78-73 defeat
Lacey was disappointed with the way her guards matched up against San Antonio and the way they handled the ball. They committed 18 turnovers.
“We needed more aggressiveness, we needed more points in the paint,” Thomas said. “I was the person that could get inside and I went away from that.”
The Mystics’ back court was outmaneuvered by Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon. The 14-year veteran crafted her way to 17 points and six assists. She seemed to have an answer for each matchup thrown her way.
She knocked down four of six three-point attempts, including a pair in the fourth that squashed a Mystics comeback attempt.
Lacey opted to bench starting forward Matee Ajavon for the majority of the second half. Ajavon played just more thantwo minutes in the last two quarters and finished with just four points and one rebound.
Lacey said that she decided to go with the lineups more apt to press and that Ajavon has been banged up. Ajavon said it was a coach’s decision.
“I’m perfectly fine,” the veteran said after the game.
It was the sixth straight win for the Silver Stars, a league-best mark. They didn’t have much rest as they won Thursday night at Indiana. They’ll travel to New York and Chicago to complete four games in seven days.
Hammon established her outside shot early, which in turn led to open shots down low for the team’s forwards. With the attention focused underneath, she was able to turn back to her shot later in the game.
“It’s hard,” said Thomas. “Any time she can go off for a lot of points. You always have to stay on your toes with her, she comes off a lot of screens. It’s more of a team defense on her than one person.”
As the Silver Stars extended their lead in the third, Hammon found forward Sophia Young on consecutive possessions. Hammon drew double coverage as she appeared to extend for a three, but instead dished to Young for the easy bucket and foul.
Young scored a game-high 18 points and shot 8 for 11 from the field. She scored all but two of her points in the second half.
Monique Currie made her second straight start for Washington and finished with a team-high 15 points and six assists. She scored nine of her points in the first half, as she kept San Antonio off-balance by mixing in a strong attack to the basket and a smooth jumper.
Thomas said Lacey’s instruction for the guards to be more aggressive could carry over into the team’s next game. As the losses continue to pile, the Mystics can only hope.
“Why don’t we continue to do what we are good at?” Thomas said.
●SUN 86, SHOCK 75: Tina Charles had a team-high 24 points and added 10 rebounds to lead visiting Connecticut to a victory against Tulsa.
Charles, who had just four points in the first quarter, had 12 by halftime and tallied 12 more in the second half to post the 55th double-double of her career, a Connecticut franchise record.
Asjha Jones also had a double-double for the Eastern Conference-leading Sun (11-4) with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Kara Lawson had 14 points and six assists for Connecticut while reserve Mistie Mims added 10 points.
Tulsa’s Ivory Latta also had 24 points, including 6 for 7 from three-point range. Kayla Pedersen added 10 points and five assists for the Shock (2-13).
●LIBERTY 64, SKY 59: Cappie Pondexter scored a team-high 19 points, including a pair of key late free throws, and New York held off a late Chicago comeback for a victory in Rosemont, Ill.
The win was the second straight for the Liberty (6-9) and first in two tries over Chicago.
The Sky (8-6) trailed 61-59 following Sylvia Fowles’s bank shot with 1:23 left, but missed a chance to tie on a turnover with 48 seconds to play.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.