Sun-Mystics Preview


The Washington Mystics put an end to their slide in impressive fashion with a victory over the league's best team.

Seeking back-to-back wins for the first time in nearly a month, they'll host the struggling Connecticut Sun on Sunday.

Washington (10-13) ended a four-game skid with a 79-75 road win over Minnesota on Thursday. The victory ended the Lynx's 10-game winning streak and firmly placed the Mystics - who squandered a late 14-point lead in a 93-88 loss at New York on Tuesday - back in position for a playoff spot.

"We're desperate for a win and we played with desperation," said coach Mike Thibault, who coached the Sun for 10 years before being fired last November.

"If we can play with that kind of energy and effort at both ends every night we might have a little bit better record."

Matee Ajavon provided the go-ahead layup with 21.3 seconds left, two of her 18 points, while Ivory Latta scored 24 - her most since also tallying 24 on June 8 - on 9-of-11 shooting.

"This was a big game for us," said Latta, averaging a team highs of 14.0 points and 4.3 assists. "I think our season should turn around from this game. We just have to learn from it and continue to play well and together as a team."

Latta scored 17 in a 66-62 win at Connecticut on June 7, snapping a nine-game losing streak in the series.

The Sun (6-14) have the league's worst record and are coming off back-to-back home losses, including a 77-61 defeat to Chicago on Friday. They'll likely need Tina Charles to play more efficiently to improve on a 2-7 road record.

Charles was 2 of 18 for five points against the Sky as Connecticut shot 32.1 percent. The WNBA's reigning MVP is shooting a career-worst 39.6 percent on the season after converting 49.9 percent of her field goals last year. She has shot better than 50 percent only three times in 20 games and not since a July 12 loss to Chicago.

"I've said this before, and they've heard this before, but when we don't knock shots down, we lose our focus defensively," coach Anne Donovan said after her team was 1 for 14 from 3-point range while allowing Chicago to go 7 for 15.

Charles scored a game-high 21 in the first meeting but was just 10 for 25.

Connecticut's average rebounding margin of minus-2.4 is one of the worst in the league, while Washington claimed a 44-24 rebounding advantage against Minnesota - the most rebounds allowed by the Lynx this season.