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Mystics fall to Seattle Storm after blowing double-digit lead in fourth quarter

The Mystics couldn't handle the Storm's second half surge.

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The Washington Mystics’ losing streak extended to two games after falling to the defending champions Seattle Storm 74-71 on Friday evening.

“We shot terribly,” Mystics Head Coach Mike Thibault said. “Our defense wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great when we needed to be. We did a great job in the first half of taking care of the basketball. Second half, we missed shot after shot.”

The Mystics had an opportunity to make a statement against the Storm, who defeated them in the 2018 WNBA Finals, as they were leading by 11 points in the fourth quarter.

The Storm managed to stage a comeback during the final five minutes of the game thanks to solid defense and timely shooting. Seattle’s Natasha Howard converted a layup to the game at 71 with less than a minute left in regulation.

Storm guard Jewell Loyd, who finished with 14 points, hit a wide-open jumper to give her team the lead with 8.3 seconds left. The Mystics had a chance to tie the game, but guard Aerial Powers missed a layup and the Storm retained possession with less than a second remaining.

“Elena [Delle Donne] tipped it back to Aerial and she had as good of a look as she can,” Thibault said. “If I could draw that up again, I would.”

The Mystics didn’t play their best brand of basketball even though they led for the majority of the game. The Mystics shot 34 percent from the floor and went 9-26 from the three-point line.

“We had great open shots,” Thibault said. “If we made one more of those threes or one more layup, the game [would be] different. We didn’t do that.”

Donne finished with 19 points and eight rebounds. Powers tallied 16 points (11 in the first half) while  Natasha Cloud and Tianna Hawkins each scored eight points. Kristi Toliver was ejected from the game after picking up two technical fouls in the first quarter. 

Howard posted a double-double, 19 points and 11 rebounds. Storm center Mercedes Russell registered 15 points and 11 rebounds.  The Storm outscored the Mystics 22-8 in the fourth quarter.

The Mystics’ players didn’t speak to the media after the game, as they held a “media blackout” in response to the school shootings in Ward 8.

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