The Washington Mystics saw its five game winning streak come to a disappointing end after a 98-76 loss to the Minnesota Lynx.
The Lynx are unbeaten so far this season and they showed why on Friday evening. The Lynx shot 52.6 percent from the field and converted 11 three-pointers. They established their presence early in the first quarter by taking a 14 point lead with under two minutes to go.
Center Sylvia Fowles paced the Lynx with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Maya Moore, who committed two fouls in the opening minutes of the game, and Rebekkah Brunson scored 17 points each. Guard Seimone Augustus tallied 14 points on 6-6 shooting.
The Lynx dominated in the paint, outscoring the Mystics 40-30 from down low. Fowles was having her way in paint, scoring the ball and grabbing offensive rebounds.
The Mystics opened the second quarter with a 8-3 run, which cut the deficit down to 36-28. The Lynx responded by going on a 16-7 run that set up the blowout victory.
Guard Tayler Hill was a driving force for the Mystics on offense, finishing with 20 points. Ivory Latta came off the bench and chipped in 15 points. They were the only players to score in double figures.
Tianna Hawkins and Krystal Thomas got more playing time than they normally do. Hawkins, who was inserted into the starting lineup, played 32 minutes and Thomas played 28 minutes.
The Mystics didn’t have Elena Della Donne, who’s dealing with a left groin strain, and Emma Meeseman since she is playing for the Belgium women’s national team. Even if they played, the Mystics still would have faced a similar fate.
“Just Elena alone wouldn’t solve that,” Mystics’ Head Coach Mike Thibault said. “Emma and Elena would have solved some of it.”
The Mystics committed 15 turnovers in the loss and most of those turnovers led to baskets for the Lynx.
“It was our highest turnover game in a while and they scored on almost every one of them,” Thibault said. “Those come back to haunt you.”
The Lynx only committed eight turnovers and recorded two in the first half.
“It would be nice if we were forcing turnovers at the other end, but we are not,” Thibault said. “They only had one turnover at halftime and that’s lack of defensive aggression in my opinion.”
Thibault didn’t like his team’s body language during the game. He believed his team looked like they gave up after the Lynx made tough shots.
“The only thing that bothered me tonight is that I thought there were times in both halves where they would score tough shots and our body language was drop the shoulders, drop the head and that’s not the way to get better,” Thibault said.