Washington 62, Charlotte 59
Miller Owns Second Half as Mystics Advance
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 17 (Ticker) -- The WNBA's Most Improved Player performed like the league's Most Valuable Player.
The Mystics advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time and will meet the winner of the series between the New York Liberty and Indiana Fever.
With stars such as Chamique Holdsclaw of the Mystics and Allison Feaster and Andrea Stinson of Charlotte on the floor, it was Miller who took control down the stretch, scoring 12 of Washington's last 14 points.
Meanwhile, Feaster -- Charlotte's third-leading scorer during the regular season -- missed all eight of her shots, including a potential game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds.
Stinson led Charlotte with 14 points, but was scoreless in the second half and committed a key turnover with 10 seconds remaining.
Miller's third 3-pointer of the game snapped a 55-55 tie. After Dawn Staley scored on a driving shot to pull Charlotte within one, Miller hit a short jumper with 2:13 remaining.
However, Staley missed a pair of free throws and Feaster misfired on a jumper on the Sting's next two possessions before a pair of free throws by Charlotte Smith with a minute left again brought them within one.
Charlotte had a chance to take the lead, but Stinson committed the key turnover of the game. After taking a pass from Staley at the top of the key, Stinson drove to her left and then attempted to make an awkward pass back toward Smith. However, Washington's Stacey Dales-Schuman deflected the pass off of Smith and Holdsclaw batted the ball back to Miller, who was fouled by Smith.
An 82 percent free throw shooter, Miller converted both to give Washington a 62-59 lead with 8.3 seconds left.
The Sting had a final chance to tie, but Feaster misfired on a 3-point attempt from the left side.
Holdsclaw, who led the Mystics with 26 points in the series opener, had 15 points and 11 rebounds.