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Mystics aim for consistent effort vs. Lynx

Oct 10, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne (11) reacts against the Connecticut Sun during the fourth quarter in game five of the 2019 WNBA Finals at Entertainment and Sports Ar. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Mystics believe they have what it takes to be one of the WNBA’s best teams.

They’re growing tired of trying to prove it, however.

“We have to figure it out,” forward Myisha Hines-Allen said. “We’re going to figure it out. We need to play more consistent. We know what we have to do. We have to do it more consistently.”

The next chance for that comes when the Minnesota Lynx visit Washington on Sunday afternoon.

The Mystics (15-11) had won four of their previous five games before dropping an 80-75 decision to the Phoenix Mercury on Thursday.

The Lynx (10-16) have won four of their last five games, posting more than 80 points in each of those.

Minnesota notched an 87-77 win in Friday night’s road game with the Indiana Fever, buoyed by Kayla McBride’s 28 points and Sylvia Fowles’ 22 points and 12 rebounds.

Jessica Shepard added 11 points off the bench and her contributions have been critical during the team’s recent success.

“Jess Shepard is growing right before our eyes and people don’t realize it,” McBride said. “It’s a lot of internal stuff, practice. She’s consistently growing up.”

The Lynx reserves have continually given the team a boost. That’s crucial during a hectic stretch in the slate as Sunday’s game will mark Minnesota’s third outing in four days.

“Taking on their roles has been amazing for us,” McBride said. “They’re the best bench in the league. … Helps the starters buy a couple more minutes sometimes.”

Elena Delle Donne scored 19 points against the Mercury on Thursday.

There were physical confrontations in that game that moved beyond chippy. Mystics coach Mike Thibault suggested that he would address the issue with league officials.

Sunday’s game has been designated as Japanese Heritage Day, so that should be a special occasion for Mystics guard Rui Machida. The Japan native has been used sparingly recently, logging a total of 21 minutes in the last four games combined.

Washington won twice earlier in the season at Minnesota.

–Field Level Media