The Washington Mystics (9-12) had their statement win of the season by blowing out the Tulsa Shock (7-14) on the road.
The Washington Mystics had six players score in double figures, shared the basketball, and made their three point shots at above a 50% rate They held the Tulsa Shock to 39.4% shooting, and outrebounded the Black and Gold, 43-39. The result? A BLOW OUT 91-74 win.
The Mystics were able to get to a 28-26 lead at the start of the second quarter into a 41-31 lead with 6:52 left in the period thanks to Kara Lawson’s hot shooting. After, Emma Meesseman scored 9 more points in the latter half of the quarter, and this helped D.C. head into halftime with a commanding 55-42 lead.
Tulsa made a comeback of sorts early in the third quarter and were able to get the 13-point deficit down by as little as five points, 62-57, with 4:03 left in the third. However, the Mystics then responded by making a 13-5 run of their own, starting off with a Monique Currie three point shot. Ultimately, the Shock still had a 13-point deficit heading to the fourth, and weren’t able to get any momentum from that point on.
Takeaways for the Shock For the Tulsa Shock, Glory Johnson led all scorers with 20 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds, while Skylar Diggins added 16 more points. Despite their numbers, the Shock was outrebounded, and also was just 5-of-19 from the three point line. Ouch.
This is probably the worst thing for the Shock. The Black and Gold have now lost six straight games at home, and are 1.5 games behind the treadmill-running Seattle Storm. Yes, the basketball blogosphere salivates over teams filled with youth and show potential to be perennial powers of the future. But at some point, this team, not unlike the Shock teams of the past couple seasons, will mail it in.
A team with the talent that Tulsa has shouldn’t be losing six straight at home, period.
I love youth on rebuilding teams, but if there’s a personnel move that the Shock has to try to make, it’s to acquire a veteran player. Not a veteran who was a fringe player on a championship team. But someone who would be a Top-3 option on most teams in this league. Yes, the core that Tulsa has will eventually be made up of veterans, but the reality is that this group has also never experienced winning basketball at the professional level, and there needs to be some way to accelerate this team’s growth.
Takeaways for the Mystics Statistically, the Mystics’ leading scorers were Ivory Latta and Emma Meesseman who scored 15 points each. Monique Currie and Kia Vaughn both had double doubles in points and rebounds. Stefanie Dolson and Lawson were D.C.’s other double figure scorers.
We also need to give Vaughn a shout-out for her performance passing the ball. She had five assists, which ties a career-high, and hopefully we’ll see more games where Vaughn is actively looking for her teammates. Then the team as a whole should get a shout-out for having an undefeated 3-0 record so far against the Sun and Shock, because they are the only other teams with rosters that are as young as the Mystics are.
Then there’s the win-loss aspect. With the Mystics’ win, the team is now third place in the East and winners of two straight, both on the road. Just last week, they were last. Next, they’re now 2-1 in their current five-game streak of road games, which is definitely a mild surprise considering that they weren’t playing well at all not too long ago.
If the Mystics can play more games with the same intensity like the way they did against Tulsa tonight, who knows? They could reach .500 (or even above that) and get home court advantage in the playoffs. Given how weak the East is, that doesn’t seem like such a stretch by any means.