Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Prior to the start of Game 5 in D.C, the Mystics and their fans didn’t really know if Elena Delle Donne was going to play in Game 5, well not only did she start, she helped her team set a franchise playoff record 97 points in a 97-76 rout of the Atlanta Dream, sending the series back to Atlanta for another do or die game Tuesday night.
“Obviously, it’s a nice present to see her in uniform and ready to go,” said Thibault regarding Delle Donne. She just gives everybody else around her confidence that we kind of got it this, that we have the best player in the game on the court. That just helps us mentally.
One player that certainly received some benefits in her game with Delle Donne on the court was Mystics guard, Kristi Toliver, who just seemed absent in Games 2 and 3.
” I was off my game the past couple,” said Toliver. “With ED (Delle Donne) back. she created some great separation for me to get open looks, something I found tough in Game 3.” Toliver finished as the Mystics leading scorer with 22 points.
Delle Donne finished with 15 points on 6 for 15 shooting from the field and 3 for 5 from long range and grabbed 10 rebounds.
The deciding Game 5 will be back in Atlanta on Tuesday, where if the Mystics advance will play either Phoenix or Seattle, who also have forced a Game 5 in their series.