Beard Leads Mystics Past Winless Dream

Washington 72, Atlanta 61 (F)

WASHINGTON, June 20 (AP) -- Alana Beard scored 18 points - all in the second half - to lead the Washington Mystics to their third straight victory, 72-61 over the winless Atlanta Dream on Friday night.

Monique Currie added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Mystics (5-7), who used an 8-1 run at the start of the fourth quarter to pull away from the expansion Dream (0-12). Atlanta is one loss from tying Detroit in 2002 and Chicago in 2006 for the worst losing streak in WNBA history.

The Dream stayed close in the second half thanks to Betty Lennox, who scored 18 points, and Ivory Latta, who added 16, including three 3-pointers. Lennox had nine rebounds.

Beard, the league's fourth-leading scorer at 19.9 points per game, went to the bench early in the second quarter with no points and three fouls. Coach Tree Rollins kept her on the bench until the start of the third quarter.

Atlanta led 23-22 at halftime, a season-low for the Mystics, who got just eight points from their starting five and committed 15 turnovers in the half. They committed just five turnovers after that.

The Mystics went on a 7-0 run in the third quarter. But Latta's 3-pointer late in the quarter put the Dream ahead 40-39, and Katie Feenstra's turnaround jumper made it 42-39. Washington responded with a 3-pointer by Taj McWilliams-Franklin, who finished with nine points.

Currie's fast-break basket gave the Mystics a 49-46 lead after three quarters.

Andrea Gardner's fast-break finish on Beard's behind-the-back pass gave Washington a 57-47 lead with 8:16 to play.

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