Tierra Ruffin-Pratt made a jump shot with 8:31 left in the fourth quarter in the Washington Mystics' game against the Minnesota Lynx, giving them a 66-65 lead at that point in the game. But Maya Moore made a layup and got fouled on the next play, and the Lynx never trailed from that point forward. Your final score in this one? 89-77 Lynx.
For a brief moment, this felt like the night before at Verizon Center during the Washington Wizards' last playoff game against the Indiana Pacers when Bradley Beal made a three to give Washington a brief 74-73 lead in the fourth quarter, but on the next play, David West made a mid range jumper and the Pacers never lost control from that time on. I'm still not over that game and the Wizards' playoff series to be honest but that was exactly what was going through my mind at that moment.
Anyway, the start and the finish of this game also showed to me that the Lynx are clearly a better team than the Mystics. Maya Moore had 34 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists, shooting 11-of-21 from the field. Lindsay Whalen nearly had a triple double with 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. And Damiris Dantas. Damiris Dantas! She had 12 rebounds and 5 assists along with 6 points in this game starting for the injured Rebekkah Brunson.
The Mystics' starters, as you might have expected, were clearly outplayed by the Lynx's. Kia Vaughn and Kara Lawson had some bad shooting nights. Ivory Latta however did have a very strong shooting night, scoring 25 points, and making 7-of-9 threes.
Among the Mystics' reserves, I was most impressed with how Tierra Ruffin-Pratt played tonight where she scored 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds off the bench. Because she was playing at a really high level, that was probably a partial reason why Monique Currie was limited to just 13 minutes. I also liked the impact Stefanie Dolson provided, in particular during the second quarter, where she made some timely shots.
The Mystics unfortunately suffered an injury to the roster, as Jelena Milovanovic had to be helped off the court after a leg injury. According to the team, it is a knee strain:
Jelena Milovanovic has a left knee strain and is out for the game #MysticsLynx— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) May 17, 2014
We should know more on how long she is out soon.
For the Lynx going forward, even though they won this game, they still are relying a bit too heavily on the starting lineup, since none of the reserves played more than 12 minutes. For the Mystics, we are seeing that reserve players are being played more regularly, and we also are seeing that Mike Thibault won't hesitate to keep reserves playing extended minutes when they're firing on all cylinders, like we've seen with Ruffin-Pratt.
A video of Coach T's presser from Monumental Network can be seen above, or you can click here if you can't see the embed.
Lastly, speaking about the Wizards, and the fact that their season ended yesterday at home, a number of players were in attendance yesterday. Bradley Beal, Garrett Temple. Chris Singleton, and Glen Rice, Jr. were among those who sat courtside. And of course, the franchise player was in attendance and took pictures with fans after the game.
John Wall taking pics with fans at the Mystics game pic.twitter.com/mvBjuftc20— Albert L. (@aleeinthedmv) May 17, 2014
Cool stuff and it's always a good thing to see the Wizards' players supporting the Mystics during the summer.