Mystics' Elena Delle Donne starts Game 3 of WNBA Finals, unbeknownst to Joe Biden

Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/wnba/teams/was" data-ylk="slk:Washington Mystics">Washington Mystics</a> forward <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/wnba/players/5058/" data-ylk="slk:Elena Delle Donne">Elena Delle Donne</a> is in the starting lineup for game 3. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne is in the starting lineup for game 3. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The league’s best player will start Game 3 of the WNBA finals.

Elena Delle Donne is listed in the starting lineup despite leaving Game 2 with back spams. She was diagnosed with a herniated disc and has not practiced this week. The Mystics and head coach Mike Thibault were preparing as if she would not play this weekend, despite the five-day break in between games. The Sun, head coach Curt Miller told reporters Saturday, were practicing as if she would.

Ariel Atkins is also in the lineup after a surprise back issue on Thursday. She attempted to stand up and felt her back lock up. The Washington lineup will therefore be the same as it has been, with Emma Meesseman coming off the bench.

The series is tied, 1-1, coming to Connecticut for the second two games. The Sun pulled out a victory in Delle Donne’s absence after she left less than three minutes into the contest.

Game 3 is a sell out in Uncasville and begins at 3:30 p.m. on ABC.

Joe Biden tweets well wishes

Delle Donne’s appearance in the team’s starting lineup, released around 3 p.m., was a surprise for most. Joe Biden, who served as Delaware’s senator for more than three decades, missed the memo. The Democratic presidential hopeful looked forward to “seeing her back on the court soon” a half-hour after first tip.

By 4 p.m., Delle Donne made her first points in the finals since Game 1 with a 3-point jumper less than two minutes into the game.

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