Story By: Sol Tucker
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Tonight, was the first time we had the chance to see a healthy Elena Delle Donne on the court in almost three years. She had one message for the fans, win games and tonight it was just like her old self when they took the 2019 Championship. They led big early and never looked back and grabbed a 84-70 victory over the Indiana Fever.
Delle Donne, who has been plagued with back injuries since the 2019 season, also sat out due to COVID related reasons in the bubble year and in 2021 didn’t participate in one of the worst seasons for the team in the past 5 years. Her 21 points and 9 rebounds are all the Mystics would need down the stretch.
“I came out with a little bit of butterflies, but good ones,” Delle Donne said. “I mean, shoot, I’m playing basketball again and this is fun.”
With a healthy Delle Donne and Natasha Cloud (17 points, 6 assists), the Mystics have one of the most balanced backcourts in all of the WNBA.
Shakira Austin also got her first WNBA action tonight in front of her home crowd and finished with 3 points and 3 rebounds in 12 minutes.
Kelsey Mitchell led Indiana with 18 points. NaLyssa Smith, the second overall pick last month in the WNBA draft, had 13 points and 13 rebounds and No. 10 pick Queen Egbo had 10 points and six rebounds.