On Japanese Heritage Day, the Washington Mystics picked up a 70-57 victory over the Minnesota Lynx, who had some travel issues getting to the district. Elena Delle Donne led the charge with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Ariel Atkins added 15 points, five rebounds and three steals in the win.
It looked like the Lynx were going to run away early in the second quarter of the game after leading 17-13 in the first, but Washington had other plans to outscore the Lynx 24-11. Delle Donne and Atkins were the only double-digit starters as Shatori Walker-Kimbrough represented for the reserves with 11 points, three rebounds, three assists and missing just one shot.
The Mystics’ defensive efforts helped secure the win as they totaled 12 interceptions, led by Atkins with three. Alysha Clark, Shakira Austin, Natasha Cloud and Elizabeth Williams all added two. Five blocked shots from Washington were also a plus.
The Lynx’ leading scorer was Kayla McBride with 16 points and former Mystic Aerial Powers with 11 points. Minnesota crushed the boards better than the Mystics passing them 45-38 led by Sylvia Fowles and Jessica Shepard with 12 rebounds apiece.
Following the game via Twitter, general manager and head coach Mike Thibault apologized for his pre-game remarks regarding flight delays with Minnesota. His first comments were that he was sick of hearing about it and it happens to all teams and everyone goes through it.
My apologies to @LynxCoachReeve and @minnesotalynx for my reaction to the question posed to me at my pre-match press conference today. That’s not who I am and I should have answered the question without the extra drama.
—Mike Thibault (@coachthibault) July 17, 2022
Washington will get a slight break as their next game won’t be until Thursday, July 21. Their opponent is the New York Liberty and the game is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. ET, as it will be Camp Day at Capital One Arena.