Thu, 07 Jul 2022

Mystics enter survival mode with visit to Sparks

Field Level Media
21 Jun 2022, 09:19 GMT+10

One of five teams with double-digit wins in the WNBA, the Washington Mystics face a road challenge in order to improve their standing.

The Mystics (11-7) are in a virtual tie with Seattle for the fourth-best record in the league after a 71-63 home victory against Connecticut on Sunday.

But they're also in the midst of a schedule grind as they visit the Los Angeles Sparks (5-9) on Tuesday night.

Washington, which has won four of its last six games, is tied with Indiana for the most games played and is starting a West Coast swing that features three games in five days with subsequent stops at Seattle and Las Vegas.

"It's called 'survive your schedule mode,'" Mystics coach Mike Thibault said. "That's kind of where we are."

The busy schedule comes as Washington is easing star Elena Delle Donne back into action from a back injury that forced her to miss the last two seasons.

Delle Donne scored all of her 15 points in 16 first-half minutes against the Sun, then flew ahead to Seattle to work with her trainer to get ready for Thursday's game against the Storm.

The Sparks are transitioning to life under interim coach Fred Williams, who took over when Derek Fisher was fired as head coach and general manager earlier this month.

Los Angeles lost to league-leading Las Vegas 89-72 on June 11 in Williams' debut, then lost at Dallas 92-82 on Sunday. The Sparks are in the midst of a three-game losing streak after losing five straight earlier in the season.

"We just have to have more practices," Williams said, "get the timing down on things we're doing on the floor differently."

The Sparks had a four-point lead late in the second quarter against the Wings, but Dallas scored the final seven points of the half and outscored Los Angeles 26-15 in the third quarter.

Chiney Ogwumike, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds against Dallas, said the players are putting "a lot of pressure on ourselves" to try to turn the season around.

--Field Level Media

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