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Mystics Show Up Strong, Knock off Mercury, 84-69

Britney Griner and Phoenix Struggled to Keep Up with the Mystics Scrappy Offense

Story By: Erin Zollars

Photos By: Sol Tucker

Washington, D.C–

If you would have told us a Mercury team that finally had Britney Griner back in the line-up and handful of other stars would have a 6-16 record leaving D.C, and the Mystics would stay alive in the playoff hunt without Elena Delle Donne, Shakira Austin and Ariel Atkins, you might have said we were crazy.

The Mercury have played without Diana Taurasi and also started the season without Britney Griner have not really been able to find a way to keep it going even with other stars on the squad like Sophie Cunningham and Sug Sutton and the Mystics with a strong effort from Natasha Cloud found the right balance again to finally stop the skid of their own.

“I think this was a gut-check game,” Mystics Coach Eric Thibault said. “Everybody that played contributed, bought in to the game plan, made some plays and stuck together. We kind of said, ‘Empty the tank today and give your teammates a little extra when they need it.”

Britney Sykes and Cloud each scored a game-high 23 points to help the Mystics (12-10) end their two-game skid. Cloud also had nine assists, and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 13 points.

“Regardless of who we have in, who we have out, we’re figuring that part out, but right now with our numbers down and only nine, 10 players, we’ve got to get it done on the defensive end and allow our defense to lead to our offense,” Cloud said, “which is kind of what we focused on today.”

Washington has enough tough 3 game road trip coming up, with Minnesota, Dallas and Atlanta before returning home on August 4th to face the Sparks. Can they get above water before it’s too late?  This road trip could be difference between playoffs or going home by August.

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