Mystics - Fever Recap
It may not have been pretty, but the Mystics did it again.
Washington defeated the defending WNBA Champion Indiana Fever on Sunday, 64-60, their second consecutive win versus a 2012 WNBA Finals team. Crystal Langhorne led the Mystics with 16 points and 9 rebounds, while Ivory Latta led the team with 17 points.
The win brings the Mystics to 4-1, the first time they have been 4-1 since the 2009 season. Coach Mike Thibault knows his team may not have played their best tonight, but he was certainly still happy about the victory.
“Whatever number of wins we need to get to the playoffs,” Thibault said of his expectations of the team. “The quicker we get there the better.”
Both teams had a tough time making shots tonight, with the Fever shooting 36% from the field, and the Mystics only 39% of their shots.
It was hard-fought from the tip to the end of the game, with each team committing 19 personal fouls. The Mystics and the Fever played intense, sometimes violent defense throughout the game, leading to the low shooting percentages and high number of fouls.
Time and time again this season, the Mystics have proved that they are clutch in crunch time and have no noticeable nerves in do-or-die situations. Every one of Washington’s wins this year has been decided by five points or less. They have not dominated or overpowered their opponents, but they know how to close out games quite nicely.
“We struggled, but we came together as a team,” Latta said. “The chemistry is building, and I’m glad it’s building in the fourth quarter. So, we pulled together, and got a win.”
The Mystics were hot and cold today, starting the game by missing four of their first five, but then heated up quickly. The team went on a 12-1 run in the middle of the first quarter, led by three pointers by Latta and Monique Currie, and ended the first period up 20-11 on the Fever.
The Fever shut down the Mystics in the second quarter, outscoring them 20-11 to tie the game 31-31 at halftime.
Washington stayed cold in the third period, scoring only 12 points in 10 minutes, but heated up again when they needed to. Langhorne scored all of her 16 points in the second half, and the Mystics outplayed the Fever in the fourth quarter, posting 21 points to the away team’s 13.
Latta and Langhorne showed their grit in the last two minutes of the game, making all six of their free throws to keep the Fever at bay.
These hard-fought performances will need to continue coming up, as the team has a three game road trip this week against Western Conference foes Seattle, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Wins will not be easy to come by, and each game will be a true test for this continually developing team.
Ivory Latta had a message for those who still doubt the 4-1 Mystics: “We believe in ourselves, and that’s the only thing that matters.”