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Recap: Mystics, Delle Donne force Game 5 with convincing win over Dream

Elena Delle Donne returned, Kristi Toliver scored 22, and the Mystics secured a crucial 97-76 win.

Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Washington Mystics have forced a Game 5 in their WNBA semifinal series against the Atlanta Dream, beating the visitors 97-76 in DC Sunday afternoon.

After missing Game 3 of the series with a bone bruise suffered in Game 2, star Washington forward Elena Delle Donne said she would “do everything” in order to play Sunday. She wasn’t kidding.

Washington Mystics (97) vs. Atlanta Dream (76)

Washington got out to a hot start, and looked much more fluid offensively with Delle Donne back. The Mystics’ star forward clearly did not look 100%, but her rebounding ability and the spacing her presence provided on the floor helped open up opportunities for her teammates, who capitalized to build an early double-digit Washington lead.

The Dream cut the lead to single digits in the third quarter, scoring 10 straight thanks to the three point shooting of Renee Montgomery. Delle Donne responded with a crucial three to stop the run, and the Mystics built their lead back up to 11 points by the end of the period.

Kristi Toliver and rookie Ariel Atkins led the way for the Mystics, scoring 22 and 19, respectively — many of the points set up by screens from Delle Donne (who also scored 15).

For Atlanta, it was a rough shooting night for Tiffany Hayes, who scored 12 points on four of 12 shooting. Game 5 will be played Tuesday in Atlanta.

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