The Mystics are in trouble but Ariel Atkins looks sharp
The Mystics fell to Las Vegas 64-81 earlier tonight, facing their sixth straight loss on the season. Off to a rough start due to injury, the Mystics only had 8 available players. As a result, an emergency medical hardship waiver granted by the WNBA allowed the Mystics to pick up Stella Johnson, a rookie guard waived by the Chicago Sky.
In the first quarter, the Mystics held a lead over the Sparks and their first seven points came from Ariel Atkins, a guard out of the University of Texas Austin. However, their lead was short lived as the Sparks regained control with 14 consecutive points. Despite the Mystics' early control, they were trailing, a position becoming all too familiar to the reigning WNBA champions. Following another Sparks dominated period, the Mystics found themselves behind the LA side 26-19 at the half and never being able to come back.
Despite the unfortunate position the team is in, they have reportedly had upbeat practices, trying to stay positive, find their rhythm and adjust to the circumstances of their season without Charles, Delle Donne, Sanders, and more. Though Atkins had a very strong shooting game for the Mystics, registering 20 points, the team looked disheveled yet again and failed to play cohesively. Behind Atkins, Meesseman and Hines-Allen registered 12 and 10 points respectively. Riquna Williams of the Sparks led her side with 13 points. Only seven Mystics scored and only three of those players registered points in the double digits. For Los Angeles, nine players scored and six players put up over 10 points. The Mystics are clearly struggling without the leadership of some of their more experienced and reliable players such as Delle Donne and Charles.
As they continue to find their footing in their injury-ridden season, they look ahead to Saturday as they face off against the Las Vegas Aces at 12:00pm EST on August 15th. Following this result, the Mystics drop to 3-6 and the Sparks propel to 6-3 on the season.