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Elena Delle Donne, Mystics race past Aces in second half

Sportsnaut
Sep 7, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; The WNBA logo on a ball during the fourth quarter of game one of the WNBA finals between the Seattle Storm and the Washington Mystics at KeyArena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Elena Delle Donne scored 19 points and the Washington Mystics used a big second half to overcome the visiting Las Vegas Aces for an 89-76 victory Tuesday night.

Myisha Hines-Allen poured in 15 points, Ariel Atkins had 13 points, reserve Katie Benzan supplied 11 points and Tianna Hawkins added 10 points off the bench for the short-handed Mystics (3-0).

The Aces (2-1) took their first loss under first-year coach Becky Hammon.

Jackie Young’s 19 points and Kelsey Plum’s 18 led Las Vegas. Dearica Hamby posted 14 points and eight rebounds, and A’ja Wilson provided 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Delle Donne, who finished 8-for-8 from the free-throw line and grabbed seven rebounds, is coming off a couple of injury-filled seasons. She played in the Friday night opener and then sat out Sunday’s game.

The Mystics played without guard Natasha Cloud, who was second in the team in scoring in each of the first two games, because of what the team announced as health and safety protocol.

Washington shot 9 of 27 from 3-point range, with Atkins and Benzan each connecting on three treys. Hines-Allen and Atkins each pulled in eight rebounds, and Hines-Allen also delivered a game-high eight assists.

The Aces held a 49-36 halftime lead, but it took them almost 15 minutes of the second half to score their next 11 points. They ended up shooting 41.5 percent from the field.

Washington pulled even at 54-54 and then led by 69-58 with 7:18 remaining in the fourth quarter after a pair of Delle Donne free throws.

Las Vegas put together a 13-0 run late in the first quarter for a 26-11 advantage. That run included a free throw for Plum when Mystics coach Mike Thibault was called for a technical foul.

An 11-2 spurt in the second quarter gave the Aces more momentum. Wilson added six points in the last two minutes of the first half.

–Field Level Media