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Ariel Atkins drops 28 as Mystics rally past Fever

Sportsnaut
Oct 2, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; A game ball waits on a sanitation cart during game 1 of the WNBA finals between the Las Vegas Aces and the Seattle Storm at IMG Academy. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Ariel Atkins scored 21 of her season-best 28 points in the second half to help the Washington Mystics rally for an 87-75 victory over the Indiana Fever on Tuesday night at Indianapolis.

Elena Delle Donne had 19 points and seven rebounds and Natasha Cloud scored 16 points and fell one shy of her season best with nine assists for Washington (7-3). Elizabeth Williams contributed 10 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for the Mystics, who outscored the Fever 49-29 in the second half.

Kelsey Mitchell led Indiana with 26 points for her seventh 20-point effort of the season. NaLyssa Smith added 13 points before fouling out and Victoria Vivians had 11 for the Fever (3-8), who lost for the sixth time in their past seven games.

Washington connected on 45.8 percent of its shots, including 8 of 24 from 3-point range. Atkins made 4 of 6 from long distance.

The Fever shot 40.5 percent from the field and made 9 of 22 from behind the arc. Queen Egbo grabbed 10 rebounds for Indiana.

Washington trailed by eight at halftime before outscoring the Fever 24-13 in the third quarter.

The key sequence came after Indiana led 56-49 on a putback by Emily Engstler with 6:01 left.

The Mystics rattled off the next 11 points. Kennedy Burke and Cloud got the run going with 3-pointers and Atkins completed it with two free throws and a trey to give Washington a 60-56 lead with 2:59 left.

The Mystics took a 62-59 edge into the final stanza.

Washington used a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter to open an 11-point lead. Atkins hit a 3-pointer while Myisha Hines-Allen and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added baskets to make it 72-61 with 5:52 remaining.

Baskets by Williams, Delle Donne and Atkins elevated the lead to 80-65 with 1:50 left as the Mystics closed it out.

Mitchell had 15 first-half points as the Fever led 46-38 at the break.

Indiana started fast with a 13-2 opening push. Washington recovered to lead by one before Mitchell converted a layup with 1.4 seconds left to give the Fever a 23-22 lead.

Delle Donne, who scored 13 first-half points, hit a 3-pointer early in the second quarter to give the Mystics a two-point lead. But Indiana played sharp basketball while taking the eight-point halftime advantage.

–Field Level Media