Mystics try to respond after nightmare against Atlanta

After muddling through one of their worst losses of the season, the Washington Mystics had a few days to construct a response for the Atlanta Dream in a rematch Thursday night.

At least this one will be a home game for the Mystics.

Washington (4-6) allowed its most points of the season in a 101-78 loss to the Dream (5-6) in Atlanta. For the Dream, it was a long time coming, defeating the Mystics for the first time in seven regular-season meetings (plus a playoff series), dating back to July 15, 2018.

The Mystics went into Sunday’s game feeling pretty good about themselves after winning consecutive games and facing a Dream team that entered on a four-game losing streak.

A season-high 17 turnovers, that were turned into 27 Atlanta points, led to the Mystics’ demise.

Washington coach Mike Tibault said his team’s focus in practice this week has centered around ball security and better defense to avoid excessive fouls and allowing Atlanta open shots.

Tina Charles and Ariel Atkins combined for 28 points for the Mystics, but they made just nine of 28 shots and committed seven turnovers. Charles, the WNBA’s leading scorer (24.0 points per game), was held to 13 points on 5-of-17 shooting.

“Their traps bothered us. I thought we got sped up,” Thibault said. “They attacked us, and we made mistakes defensively. They made a really concerted effort to trap Ariel and Tina every time they touched it and made somebody else beat them, and we weren’t able to do that.”

Atlanta won for the first time without Chennedy Carter, who has missed the last five games because of a strained elbow. Her status for Thursday’s game is questionable.

Courtney Williams led the Dream with 21 points – including four 3-pointers – and her backcourt mate Odyssey Sims had her best game since 2019, scoring 20 points.

Tiffany Hayes added 18 points.

“As long as our effort is right, we’ll live with the results,” Atlanta interim coach Mike Petersen said. “I’m not going to become an outcome-based guy where if we win and we didn’t play hard, I’m happy, or if we lose and did play hard, I’m not.”

The Dream enjoyed its best shooting performance of the season, making 50.7 percent from the field (36-for-71), including 13 of 29 shots from beyond the arc.

–Field Level Media

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