First-Place Washington Gets Past Indiana with 3-Point Barrage
WASHINGTON - The Washington Mystics led 20-2 early and deposited a WNBA-record 18 3-pointers Sunday afternoon to defeat the Indiana Fever 107-68 at Entertainment and Sports Arena in the nation's capital.
Washington (20-7) maintained its hold on first place in the WNBA standings while beating Indiana for the 10th straight time overall and sweeping a three-game series this season. Indiana (9-17) lost for just the second time in five games since the All-Star Break but failed to gain ground as part of a late push to reach the WNBA Playoffs.
Elena Delle Donna had 25 points and nine rebounds, with three 3-pointers. Aerial Powers had 19 points including 4-of-6 shooting beyond the arc and Ariel Atkins added 14 on the strength of 4-of-8 behind the 3-point stripe. The Mystics' shot 18-of-39 from long range overall on the way to their highest scoring output of the season.
"We let [Washington] get off to a fast start. It's about momentum. It's about confidence," said Fever coach Pokey Chatman. "They're a good shooting team and when they made shots and drew us to them, it allowed penetration. That's what good shooting teams do."
Tiffany Mitchell paced the Fever with 17 points, while Teaira McCowan registered the sixth double-double of her rookie season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Kelsey Mitchell added nine points for Indiana and Natalie Achonwa contributed seven points and three rebounds to move past Katie Douglas on the club's career rebounding chart (6th with 631).
Indiana missed its first 10 shots, fell behind by 18 after six-and-a-half minutes and trailed 24-10 at the end of the opening quarter. Another blow sustained by Indiana late in the first period was a middle finger injury to veteran forward Candice Dupree who left the game and never returned.
The Fever rallied for 13 unanswered points in the second quarter to pull within 24-17, but Washington withstood the surge and led 43-34 at intermission. Indiana cut the lead to seven on Tiffany Mitchell's bucket to open the second half, and again on a pair of Mitchell free throws with 8:02 in the third, but never got closer.
The Mystics put the game out of reach with 7-of-9 3-point shooting and 36 points in the third period.
With eight regular season games remaining, the Fever return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday to welcome the New York Liberty (7:00 p.m.).
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