Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
There is no doubt when you have a superstar on your team like Elena Delle Donne, good things happen, however sometimes superstar players just can’t get it done by themselves in the closing minutes of games. This is exactly what happened in the final minute of Game 1 of the playoffs tonight against Seattle where the Mystics fell short, 86-83.
Delle Donne seemed unstoppable for most of the game, hitting shots that even fans in attendance couldn’t believe and what looked like in the second half was going to be all Mystics.
The Mystics made a statement early and opened the game on a 7-0 run, but barely hung on at the half 42-40 advantage.
The who had their share of woes the entire game Storm had to deal with 15 lead changes and the game being tied 11 times.
The big difference in this game was the final minutes of the fourth quarter as it was Delle Donne versus Jewel Loyd, who hit her first field goal of the game with 4:52 remaining. After her first bucket, she would drop 12 straight points to keep the Storm within striking distance at 2 points.
The Mystics had two costly turnovers in the final minute that would be the deciding factor in this game.
Breanna Stewart led the Storm with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
Washington guard Ariel Atkins tallied 16 points on 5-of-15 shooting. This marks the eighth time in Atkins’ career tallying 15+ points in a playoff game and is the first time since netting 21 points on 9/29/19 at Connecticut.
“This is only one game,” said Mystics Head Coach Mike Thibault. “Elena may have played her best game of the season tonight, however the final box score doesn’t reflect that.”
Washington will face Seattle in a do or die game Sunday to hopefully force Game 3 back in D.C on August 24th.