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Getting Defensive Again (Lynx at Mystics; 07.17.22)

Clifford Ray Williams/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

WASHINGTON — While the Washington Mystics got everything it wanted and more from their star player, Elena Delle Done, on Sunday, the team’s defensive effort is what surged it to victory against one of the more dangerous offenses in the league over the past month.

Delle Donne delivered a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Mystics defeated the Minnesota Lynx 70-57 at the Entertainment & Sports Arena on Sunday afternoon. Ariel Atkins scored 15 points for Washington, who forced 16 Minnesota turnovers and held the Lynx to their lowest scoring output in a game this season.

Delle Donne scored 17 of her points in the first half as Washington quickly overturned a four-point deficit to end the first quarter, outscoring Minnesota 24-11 in the second quarter to take a 37-28 lead into the intermission.

After the Lynx’s Sylvia Fowles scored the first points of the second half on a pair of free throws, the Mystics went on a 12-0 run as it started to pull away. Atkins scored the first five points of the run on a layup and three-pointer. A Delle Done jumper was then followed by a three-pointer from Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and a pull-up jumper from the top of the key by Natasha Cloud to give the Mystics a 49-30 lead with 3:06 remaining in the third.

Minnesota had scored at least 80 points in each of its last 11 games, and had gone 4-2 in its last six contests, but it probably should not have been too much of a surprise that its scoring spree was stunted by Washington; The Mystics have held the Lynx to their three lowest-scoring games of the season, holding Minnesota to 66 points on May 8 and to 59 points on June 10, with both games taking place at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Washington won all three games in the season series against the Lynx.

Kayla McBride led the Lynx with 16 points, while former Mystics player Aerial Powers was the only other Minnesota player to score in double figures, as she tallied 11 points. Fowles had 12 rebounds to go along with nine points.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Sunday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by DC-area photographer Clifford Ray Williams. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 21 pictures in total.

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