Mystics 82, Sparks 86

NOTEWORTHY:

  • The Mystics lost their sixth consecutive game in overtime to the Los Angeles Sparks. Previously the Mystics were 2-0 in overtime games against the Atlanta Dream on June 9 and the Sparks on July 17
  • The Mystics were led by forward Crystal Langhorne who scored 28 points and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. Langhorne posted a career high, playing all 45 minutes of the game. Langhorne tied her career high of 13 made field goals and posted a new career high of 23 field goals attempted
  • Mystics guard Matee Ajavon added 14 points, four rebounds and two steals in a career high 43 minutes of play in the Mystics overtime loss
  • Mystics forward DeMya Walker tied her season high 12 points from off the bench and grabbed six rebounds before fouling out in overtime
  • The game featured 10 lead changes and six ties with the Mystics leading by as much as two and the Sparks leading by as much as 12. The overtime period alone featured four lead changes and three ties
  • The Mystics attempted a season high 75 shots from the field, connecting on 33 of those shots. The Mystics also outrebounded the Sparks 37-32, pulling down a season high 19 offensive boards
  • Four Sparks players scored in double figures with forward Candace Parker leading the way with 19 points. Forwards Tina Thompson and DeLisha Milton-Jones added 15 and 13 while guard Noelle Quinn added 11 points from off the bench
  • The Sparks’ Milton-Jones collected a season high five steals (previously three) and Parker blocked a season high five shots (previously three) in their win over the Mystics
  • The Sparks won on the road for the first time against the Mystics since a 70-59 win on May 31, 2008

    WASHINGTON MYSTICS HEAD COACH TRUDI LACEY:

    Overall thoughts on the game:
    “I will say that I was really proud of our team for coming back and fighting, especially after a tough lost in Indiana. We came back and really had the opportunity to win the game at end. Didn’t execute the last play, but they continue to fight and learn each other, that’s some of the issues with our offenses. It is in critically time.”

    On improvements throughout the season:
    “I think it would be more measured if the ball would go in the hole. We are getting shots. I thought we executed well down the stretch. We put ourselves in a position to win. Had a couple of good looks and missed them. That’s really been our Achilles heel all season long.”

    Frustration on recent last second game loss:
    “We are right there. It’s been a variety of things. Maybe it’s a turnover, missed shots, or a fumble of the ball. It has been frustrating and disappointing. I am not making excuses, but to play a season with nine people and to never have a full practice before a game; I think it speaks volume for them. “

    WASHINGTON MYSTICS GUARD KELLY MILLER:

    How did the number of turnovers by the Chicago Sky work to the advantage of the Mystics?
    “I think we were pretty destructive on defense the entire game. That was our game plan, to set the tone defensively and we did that for the most point.”

    Key to defensive strategies to make Chicago run down their shot clock:
    “I think we wanted to put a lot of pressure on them, on the ball. We didn’t want to make it easy for them and we did a pretty good job on that.”

    WASHINGTON MYSTICS FORWARD DEMYA WALKER:

    On Crystal Langhorne’s performance:
    “I’ve come to expect it from her. Even playing against her, you expect her to have a good night. She just finds a way to score. She never stops- made shot, miss shot- her mentality never changes. That’s really awesome to have in a young player. She’s only been in the league a few years and she’s managed to build her mentality to know that she can’t be stopped. I think when you have that ability, it changes games.”

    On goals for the end of the season:
    “Regardless of the record, I think we want to maintain a standard of never say die, always making sure that every team knows that whenever they play us they have to come and they have to play their A-game. That’s a standard that we have to take pride in. You never want to feel disrespected and I feel that it’s something that we have to continue to take pride in the rest of season. Whether you win or you lose, people are looking at you.”

    Mystics at a glance:
    Points: Crystal Langhorne - 28
    Rebounds: Langhorne -9
    Assists: Jasmine Thomas - 5
    Steals: Thomas - 3

    LOS ANGELES SPARKS HEAD COACH JOE BRYANT:

    Overall thoughts on game:
    “Important game for us, really big win. Washington really played hard, they are really big at the basket. They got nineteen offensive rebounds which really kept them in the game but as I told the women before the game, it doesn’t matter whether the game is ugly or pretty just go out and get the W, get the win, which is what we did.”

    On defensive strategies to stop Mystics’ points in the paint:
    “We tried to keep (Matee) Ajavon quiet. She was really tough and I think she only had eleven points where last time she had 26 or 23, (Crystal) Langhorne is tough around that basket as well. So coming into the game we had to decide we can’t let both of them have a good game. We had to try shut down one, and the decision was to try shut down Ajavon.”

    LOS ANGELES SPARKS FORWARD CANDACE PARKER:

    Overall thoughts on the game:
    “Well, we didn’t play pretty tonight but we fought our way to the win. The second half in Tulsa, we actually played really well but this has been a long road trip and we’ve been gone for a couple of days. We’re looking forward to going home tomorrow and being back in our own beds. Being on the road is something we have to play through, I know we were a little tired and luckily today it ended well. We forced the overtime and we were able to come out with the win.”

    Thoughts on Matee Ajavon's improvements:
    “I’ve been playing with Matee since high school and I think she is a fantastic player and I think she is in the right situation with Monique [Currie] and Alana [Beard] being out. I think she is taking full advantage of that and getting in the holes to make the shots. She’s definitely been playing very well.”

    Sparks at a glance:
    Points: Candace Parker - 19
    Rebounds: Tina Thompson - 10
    Assists: Ticha Penicheiro - 6
    Steals: DeLisha Milton-Jones - 5