The Washington Mystics tied their series with the Atlanta Dream at 2-2 with a win Sunday in the semifinals of the 2018 WNBA playoffs as Elena Delle Donne (knee) returned to the lineup after missing Game 3 and tallied 15 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes.
In this episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball, host Ben Dull is joined by Lindsay Gibbs to discuss Delle Donne’s return to the lineup, Kristi Toliver’s big night and more:
- Delle Donne’s gravity, even when somewhat limited, and the open looks it creates for her team from beyond the arc
- Atlanta’s spacing and how it makes things tougher at times for their main players
- Washington’s two rookies — Ariel Atkins and Myisha Hines-Allen — both playing well for the Mystics
- the importance of Renee Montgomery hitting multiple 3-pointers and making plays for others
- how Atlanta can make things more difficult for Washington in Game 5
- what Atlanta could aim to do better or adjust for Game 5
Delle Donne, Toliver, Atkins and Natasha Cloud each hit multiple 3-pointers for the Mystics Sunday. And though LaToya Sanders picked up her fifth foul before the end of the third quarter, Hines-Allen entered the game and contributed to the fourth quarter run by the Mystics that iced the game.
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Atlanta shot just 8-of-19 from the restricted area, 12-of-31 inside the paint overall and 14-of-25 at the free throw line. The Dream will need a big performance from star guard Tiffany Hayes (4-of-12 shooting in Game 4) on both ends of the floor. Alex Bentley may give the Dream more of a scoring punch off the bench as well. Bentley shot 15-of-29 from the field and 5-of-8 on threes in the first two games of the series at home. In the past two games in Washington, she shot just 10-of-28 overall and 1-of-12 from deep.
Both Game 5s will be played Tuesday, starting at 8 PM ET with Mystics at Dream on ESPN2. Game 5 between the Phoenix Mercury and Seattle Storm will follow on ESPNNews/NBATV.