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Sims takes flight as Wings ground Mystics

In mid-week action, the Dallas Wings hit the road to take on the Washington Mystics. Dallas has now moved their win streak to two in the regular season, whereas the Mystics continue to struggle without having Ivory Latta on the court unable to pick up a win yet in the regular season.

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The Wings soared past the Mystics at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. Wednesday -- and never looked back.

The Dallas Wings (2-1) were hot out of the gate, and took a quick 6-0 lead against the Washington Mystics (0-2) while never looking back, eventually clinching the victory 87-77.

"We had a slow start in the last few games," said Dallas coach Fred Williams. "We talked about it the last few days, and that was our emphasis to get a good start early in the first quarter."

Dallas scored on its first and second possessions. Karima Christmas and Courtney Paris contributed a field goal apiece to make it 4-0. Washington was off to a slow start with two quick turnovers and two missed free throws from Tayler Hill.

Hill eventually put the Mystics on the board, but a technical foul from Washington coach Mike Thibault overshadowed the field goal and Odyssey Sims, the two-time All-American from Baylor, answered with three made free throws to extend the Dallas lead to 9-4.

The Wings' Erin Phillips nailed a shot with three seconds left in the first half, that gave Dallas all the momentum, entering halftime with a 42-35 lead. Washington did not lead the entire game.

Washington cut the lead to three with 3:45 left in the 4th quarter with two made free throws from Hill. Yet, an immediate answer with a three-pointer from Phillips put the Wings up 77-71.

Hill went to the line again with 3:03 left cutting the Wings' deficit to four points. But Dallas's Sims cut backdoor and made a layup which gave her team some much needed breathing room. And right after Washington called a timeout with 1:56 left in the game, Dallas got another basket from Paris which put them up eight. .

The Mystics responded immediately, but a foul on the other end of the court sent Christmas to the line and both shots were automatic. Sims shot four free throws for Dallas in the final two minutes of play, and she knocked them all down. Thibault said for his team it's on to the next.

"We do not have time to dwell on the past," Thibault said. "Because the next one is right in front of you. Not only is it right in front of us but also it is back to back. We just have to try and be better next time. I am frustrated with some of the mental breakdowns that have occurred that I think are correctable. I have faith we will figure this out."

Offensive rebounds made the difference in the final minutes in favor of Dallas, and they ended with 16 offensive rebounds while Washington had 8. Sims said she is content with how her team played, and she is happy to move on to a home game.

"We had a back-to-back starting off the season Saturday and Sunday against Indiana and New York." Sims said "I felt like we played well, but it is always tough to play on the road. 2-1, 3 away games, not bad and we go home and play Saturday, so I am happy with my team."

Washington attempted to play an up-tempo game, to match Dallas's pace, despite being shorthanded due to Ivory Latta (knee), Tierra Ruffin-Pratt (ankle), Ally Mallott (elbow), and Kahleah Copper (ankle) being injured. But it was obvious, the Mystics missed their core.

On the other side, Dallas is still without two of their better players: Skylar Diggins is listed day-to-day, and Glory Johnson sat out her third game of her seven-game suspension.

Four Dallas players reached double figures. Sims lead all scorers with 22 points; Christmas had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds; Phillips scored 16, and Aerial Powers added 10.

Hill lead Washington's effort with 20 points; Emma Meesseman added 19, and Kia Vaughn scored 12.

Dallas will move on to play its first home game at College Park Center in Arlington on Saturday. A bus will travel from Tulsa to Dallas with more than 50 former Tulsa Shock fans traveling to welcome their team to its new home. Washington will face the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday at home.