The Washington Mystics muddled through their worst offensive performance of the season on Sunday, a 65-52 loss to the Indiana Fever at Verizon Center that left Coach Mike Thibault apologizing to fans for “the game they had to witness.”
“I hope this is the last time [the fans] have to see something like that,” said Thibault, in his first season as the team’s coach and general manager. “It’s embarrassing.”
Thibault was upset about his team’s 15 turnovers, 17 for 55 shooting (30.9 percent) from the field and four offensive rebounds.
“We don’t seem to have a consistent offensive rebound effort,” Thibault said. “When you miss as many shots as we did — we missed 38 shots and had four offensive rebounds — that’s not acceptable.”
The loss was the Mystics’ second straight to Indiana after a 77-71 defeat in Indianapolis on Friday.
To say the teams got off to a slow start offensively would be an understatement. The Mystics (8-9) scored five points in the game’s first five minutes — and led by five.
After 10 minutes, the Mystics led 9-8, the lowest-scoring opening quarter in WNBA history.
While the Fever found its range in the second, the Mystics’ sparse scoring continued.
Washington followed up its anemic first-quarter showing by shooting 2 for 13 in the second. The Mystics scored just five points from the field, establishing a new season low, and went into halftime trailing 30-16 after their lowest-scoring first half of 2013.
It took just more than three minutes of the third quarter for Monique Currie to do what her whole team could not in the second. Currie scored six points from the field in that span, part of a relative offensive explosion for the Mystics. Washington poured in 20 points in the third.
But while the Mystics held the Fever to 35 percent shooting and forced 12 turnovers, their offensive woes doomed them.
“We didn’t make baskets, and we didn’t find other ways to make up for that,” Currie said. “We hardly offensive rebounded, and when you aren’t shooting well, you have to find other ways to get baskets and we didn’t.”
Indiana’s Tamika Catchings celebrated her 34th birthday with 23 points and 10 rebounds, her 84th career double-double, second most in WNBA history. She also suffered a bloody nose in a physical game that grew downright chippy as the second half went on.
Shavonte Zellous added 12 points for the Fever (7-8).
Currie was Washington’s lone double-figure scorer with 15 points.
“Other than Monique, we didn’t have a good performance overall by anybody in the starting lineup,” Thibault said. When that happens, “you’re not going to win very often.”