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Tina Charles flexes on 30-15 lead and makes clutch layup that leads to Mystics OT win

Every game there seems to be a new historic achievement for Tina Charles. This time she was able to have it come in a win as the Washington Mystics snapped a four-game skid.

Washington Mystics v Chicago Sky
Tina Charles (with ball)
Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images

Tina Charles increased her all-time lead in 30-15 games with 34 points and 17 rebounds, including the game-tying layup at the buzzer of regulation, and the Washington Mystics defeated the Chicago Sky 89-85 in overtime on Saturday night at Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

Natasha Cloud (seven points, 11 assists, five rebounds) made a layup 46 seconds into overtime and Charles followed with a triple to make it 87-82 with 3:43 to go.

A Stefanie Dolson inside make cut the Sky’s deficit to three with 14 seconds remaining, but Charles made a free throw two seconds later and Candace Parker’s missed three with one second left wouldn’t have even tied the game.

The Mystics (8-10) led by nine after one and by eight entering the fourth. Their ability to hold on and win was needed to snap a four-game losing streak. Chicago (10-10) has lost two in a row.

Charles upped her season scoring average to 26.3, a full point ahead of Diana Taurasi’s record set in 2006. She also upped her rebounding average to 10, which is tied with Sylvia Fowles for second in the league.

Ariel Atkins (14 points, five assists) attempted a 3-point shot that would have won the game at the end of regulation but missed and Charles cleaned it up to force overtime.

Washington’s Theresa Plaisance was good for 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists. A couple players who have been on the fringe of remaining in the league, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Megan Gustafson, were also key to the winning cause. Walker-Kimbrough, who was a key member of the 2019 Mystics team that won the championship, notched 12 points in just her third game of the season and second with Washington. Gustafson added five points and nine boards.

In the first half of the fourth, Chicago’s Allie Quigley (16 points) went on a 5-0 run that cut Washington’s lead to five. Dolson (20 points, six rebounds) would go on to score eight of the Sky’s 20 fourth-quarter points, including go-ahead buckets at 37 and four seconds remaining. Also in the fourth, Candace Parker (17 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, two steals, two blocks) snuck in a 4-0 individual run that gave Chicago its first lead of the frame at 78-77 with 1:03 to go.

Courtney Vandersloot recorded 13 points and 15 assists in defeat.