Mystics 77 - Fever 80

The Washington Mystics dropped tonight’s game against the Indiana Fever 80-77.

Despite another impressive effort from Mystics guard Monique Currie with 18 points, Natasha Howard’s game-high 20 points powered the Fever to a win. Centers Emma Meesseman and Kia Vaughn both added 13 points and added a combined 15 rebounds. However, the Mystics bench was outscored 25-10.

Washington did a good job holding Indiana’s leading scorer, guard Shavonte Zellous, to six points, but Indiana got a very efficient ten-point performance from Lynetta Kizer, who only played 11 minutes. Erlana Larkins also contributed a solid 16 points.

In all other facets of tonight’s game, the Mystics played either better or on par with the Fever, except for one aspect: defense. The Mystics, who shot 42.9%, have the league’s best defense but gave up an uncharacteristically high 52.5% shooting to the Fever.

After coming out of the gates making the four of their first five shots and jumping out to an 8-0 lead, the Mystics went cold and made only three of 15 shots to finish the first quarter. Washington, however, was able to close the quarter with a 15-11 lead.

But, the Fever used a hot second quarter to build a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The Mystics were outplayed in the quarter and were outscored 31-14. Despite the bright start, the Mystics ended the first half shooting 34.5% while the Fever shot 56.3%, and Indiana held a commanding 42-29 lead going into the third quarter.

In the third and fourth, the Mystics showed glimpses that a comeback could be possible. They played with much more energy and had several breakaways that allowed Washington to get back within striking distance. The Mystics outscored the Fever 26 to 19 in the third and trailed 61-55 going into the fourth.

However, the final period opened with the Mystics struggling to score baskets. Though they made a push midway through the quarter, the Mystics were unable to get over the final two-point deficit and complete their comeback in the waning seconds.

The Mystics now go on a long roadtrip beginning with Saturday’s matchup against the Atlanta Dream and will return to Verizon Center July 23.