The Mystics finally got it right tonight.
Chamique Holdsclaw scored 21 points, including nine in the final six minutes of the game, to lift Washington to a 68-63 victory over the Charlotte Sting before 7,454 at Charlotte Coliseum.
The Mystics, who return to Washington for a three-game homestand beginning Friday against Sacramento, were relieved to snap a five-game losing streak.
"We've been so close and had so many disappointments," Washington Coach Nancy Darsch said. "It's nice to be able to get another win."
The way Washington won was as important as the win itself.
As in previous losses, the Mystics squandered a second-half lead. Washington led by as many as 12 points, but its lead disappeared in the face of a 12-0 run.
Charlotte's Dawn Staley, who scored a game-high 23 against the Mystics in their first meeting, made back-to-back three-pointers to ignite a rally early in the second half. Staley, who finished with a game-high 22 points, capped off the Sting's rally with a between-the-legs pass to Vicky Bullett for a layup and a 45-43 advantage.
Nikki McCray tied the game on the Mystics' only field goal over a three-minute span, but the Sting gained its biggest lead of the game, 49-45.
After Rita Williams made two free throws, the Mystics, the WNBA's worst three-point shooting team, were sparked by an unlikely shot. Shalonda Enis's three-point shot slammed the back of the rim before falling through the basket for a 50-49 lead.
When Holdsclaw wasn't hitting the initial basket, 6-foot-5 center Alessandra Santos de Oliveira (16 points) was converting follow-up shots. She and Holdsclaw combined for 17 of the Mystics final 18 points.
"If I missed a shot it was like, `Here comes Ally,' " Holdsclaw said. "It's like we had each other's backs tonight."
Washington's front court outscored the Sting 44-30 and outrebounded the Sting 38-28 -- including a career-high 14 by Holdsclaw.
COMETS 78, STARZZ 68: Sheryl Swoopes scored a career-high 29 points, including an 18-foot jumper with 4 minutes 18 seconds left that keyed a 12-1 run and led Houston to the win over host Utah (2-6). Houston (8-1) bolted ahead by six points early in the second half, but Utah rallied to claim the lead four times before the Comets' late run sparked by Swoopes.