The Mystics win a vital battle of playoff contenders.
PHOENIX — Washington Mystics head coach Mike Thibault had to laugh when thinking about his team’s day. After all his years coaching in the league, he experienced something he’s sure hasn’t happened before.
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“Two wins in a day, that must be a first in our league,” he said.
Just hours after finding out they were awarded a forfeit victory over the Las Vegas Aces, the Mystics got 30 points from Elena Delle Donne and 25 from Kristi Toliver to get a road win over the Phoenix Mercury, 103-98 Tuesday night.
And on this Tuesday, the Mystics not only clinched a playoff spot, they vaulted from a half a game behind the Los Angeles Sparks to half a game ahead of them, holding in third place and just a game behind the Atlanta Dream for second-place and the double-bye, something Delle Donne can appreciate.
“We went through playoffs last year where we had to play two elimination games. It’s really tough, and you don’t have much time in between games,” Delle Donne said. “We want to do our best to put ourselves in the best position possible, and we know the importance of every single game finishing out this season.”
For the Mercury, the loss drops them to 16-14 and extends the skid they’ve been on to 2-9 in the last 11 games. While they remain a safe bet to reach the playoffs, thanks to Las Vegas getting two losses in one day, the Mercury are in seventh place with just four games to go.
So what else have we learned?