The second round of the playoffs resulted in a Mystics blowout in Washington and a comeback Phoenix Mercury win in Connecticut.
Los Angeles Sparks vs. Washington Mystics
The Washington Mystics bested the Los Angeles Sparks in a 96-64 win. Elena Delle Donne recorded 19 points and 12 rebounds as the Mystics routed the Sparks to advance to the semifinal round.
The Mystics started the game off slow as the Sparks controlled the tempo. Candace Parker matched and exceeded her two-point total from Los Angeles’ win over the Minnesota Lynx. Washington went on a 21-5 tear to end of the first quarter. The ball movement for the Mystics kept them afloat throughout the game along with their bench play.
A Tianna Hawkins three-pointer extended the Mystics’ double-digit lead in the first half. The Mystics had their largest lead of the half with 21 points. Washington outscored Los Angeles 23-13 in the second quarter.
In the second half of the game, Washington extended their lead to 27 points on a Natasha Cloud shot. Four Mystics players were also in double-digits in the third quarter. At the end of the quarter, the Mystics had 22 assists on 27-47 field goals.
An Odyssey Sims steal and assist to Nneka Ogwumike bucket brought the Washington lead to 22.
The Sparks started to show some life in the fourth quarter in going on a 13-2 run. The Mystics were only held to two points in the first five minutes of the fourth.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough converted on a two-point shot after her steal on Jantel Lavender with 1:50 left in the game. Myisha Hines-Allen banked on the game-winning three-point shot.
Overall, the Mystics shot 57% on the floor while the Sparks were held to 33% shooting throughout the game. The Mystics finished the game with 28 assists on 37 field goals which led to double-digit scoring for six players.
Mystics’ rookie, Ariel Atkins along with Latoya Sanders recorded 14 points in the game while Natasha Cloud scored 13 points.
For Los Angeles, Parker finished the game with 16 points while Ogwumike and Alana Beard finished with eight points.
Phoenix Mercury vs. Connecticut Sun
Phoenix’s big three consisting of Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner, and DeWanna Bonner combined for 77 points in the Mercury’s 96-86 win over the Connecticut Sun.
Bonner made the first three-point shot of the game coming off hot from the Mercury’s win over the Dallas Wings. Both teams played a fast pace in the first quarter in connecting on a majority of their shots. Connecticut shot 50% in field goals while Phoenix shot 47.1% in the quarter. The Sun were up on the Mercury by one to end the first quarter.
Taurasi led all scorers with 15 points to end the first half. Seven Sun players contributed points in the half. Connecticut led Phoenix at halftime with four points.
The Sun got a shot and foul out of the gate in the third quarter. Taurasi gave the Mercury a two-point lead on a three-point shot. With some production from Shekinna Strickland, the Sun went on a 6-0 run in the quarter. In the latter of the third quarter, the Mercury went on a 6-0 run of their own behind a Taurasi shot to take the lead.
Griner contained the paint and made shots towards the end of the third quarter that led to a one-point lead for Phoenix.
Courtney Williams dominated the game for Connecticut and down the stretch in the fourth quarter, she made timely shots. Many possessions in the game went Williams. Her and Griner traded a few baskets halfway through the quarter then Williams banked a three-point shot to tie the game.
Bonner made a layup to give the Mercury a six-point lead with 1:11 left in the game. Taurasi and Bonner also made their free-throws to extend the Mercury’s lead to ten and secure the win.
Taurasi improves her playoff elimination game streak to 13-0. Taurasi and Bonner both recorded 27 points while Griner scored 27 points.
Williams finished the game for the Sun with a 27-point performance. Alyssa Thomas scored 17 points.
The Mystics will play the Atlanta Dream at 3:00 PM ET and the Mercury will play the Seattle Storm at 5:00 PM ET on Sunday. These games will be aired on ESPN2.