Sun-Mystics Preview

TOM CASTRO (STATS Senior Editor)

The Washington Mystics have rounded out the Eastern Conference playoff field, but they have plenty left to play for in their final two games.

Now looking to avoid a matchup with top-seeded Chicago in the first round, the Mystics on Friday night host the last-place Connecticut Sun, who have been playing better of late and beat Washington a week ago.

Washington (15-17) avoided a third straight loss and punched its ticket to the postseason for the first time since 2010 with a 69-67 victory at Indiana on Tuesday. The Mystics are tied with the Fever as the two battle it out for the third seed, which would keep that team from facing the Sky to open the playoffs.

"We all came together for one goal, to get to the playoffs,'' said guard Ivory Latta, who signed with Washington in the offseason and had 15 points and four assists Tuesday. "That goal came true, but we're not going to stop there. We want to compete in the first round and get to the second round. We're not going to get complacent with where we're at.''

Kia Vaughn, acquired in February, had 15 points and six rebounds and Tayler Hill, the fourth overall pick in this year's draft, added 12 points.

Washington earned a split of the season series with Indiana, but the Fever currently hold the second tiebreaker by virtue of a better conference record. Both teams will face Connecticut and New York as their final two regular-season opponents.

The third seed will take on Atlanta in the first round.

A matchup with the WNBA-worst Sun (9-23) would seem to be a timely one for the Mystics, but that wasn't the case last Friday as Connecticut beat Washington 77-70 behind a career high-tying 26 points and six assists from Tan White and 17 points from Kelsey Griffin.

The win ended a seven-game losing streak and the Sun have won two of their last three, defeating the Dream 78-77 on Wednesday despite being down to eight players due to injury.

Mistie Bass made a layup off an inbounds play with 11 seconds remaining for the decisive basket.

"They're just fun,'' coach Anne Donovan said of her eight players. "They never give up. I'm sure Atlanta thought we were dead in the water several times. This team doesn't go there.''

While Connecticut has been impressive of late, it's lost seven straight on the road.