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Mystics shut out Rhyne Howard, demolish Dream

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

The Mystics held the WNBA’s No. 1 draft pick Rhyne Howard, the league’s leading scorer entering Tuesday, without a point and Washington star Elena Delle Donne reached 4,000 career points in a 70-50 win over the visiting Atlanta Dream.

Washington coach Mike Thibault missed the game due to personal (non-COVID) reasons, according to a statement from the team. Associate head coach Eric Thibault, his son, coached the game.

Howard, who entered the game averaging 20.5 points a game, missed all nine of her field-goal attempts, including an 0-for-4 performance from 3-point range, in 29 minutes.

Delle Donne, in her ninth WNBA season, has 4,000 career points after finishing with 15 points. She is the 40th player in WNBA history to reach that plateau and the second fastest, getting there in 199 games.

Washington (6-2) has won three of its past four games, including two wins over Atlanta. The Mystics beat the Dream 78-73 on Friday at Atlanta.

Kennedy Burke scored 13 points off the bench for Washington, which recorded 19 assists on 26 made field goals. Alysha Clark added 11 points and Ariel Atkins had 10. Natasha Cloud finished with seven assists.

Atlanta (4-3) did not have a player score in double figures until Aari McDonald made two free throws with 43.3 seconds remaining in the game. She finished with 10 points.

Erica Wheeler had nine points, but she also committed seven of the Dream’s 23 turnovers.

Washington led 34-25 at halftime after holding Howard to 0-for-6 shooting from the field, including an 0-of-4 rate from 3-point range.

After Atlanta rallied with a 13-2 run to take a 23-21 lead with 4:28 remaining in the second quarter, Washington allowed the Dream to make only one more shot from the field until halftime.

The Mystics closed the half with their own 13-2 run.

The Dream cut the deficit to 41-31 with 5:40 remaining in the third quarter, but Washington responded with another 13-2 run to complete the period.

Delle Donne’s pull-up jumper with 7:13 left gave her the point milestone while building the lead to 61-37.

–Field Level Media