Mystics stumble in Week 3 of 2018 WNBA season

After going 4-0 to open the season, Washington has lost four of its last five games.

The Washington Mystics continue to stumble in week three of the 2018 WNBA season, losing four of their last five games. The slide comes after the Mystics began the season with a perfect 4-0 start.

Washington won its only game of the week on the road in Phoenix but ended the week with three straight losses. Here is a recap of the Mystics' second and third week:

Game #1: Mystics 77, Seattle 81

Washington began the week by opening a three-game road trip with an 81-77 loss to the Seattle Storm (6-2) at KeyArena.

The loss was the first of the season for the Mystics, who played without star Elena Delle Donne, who missed the game due to an illness.

Kristi Toliver did her best to fill in for Delle Donne, led the Mystics with 20 points on 43 percent shooting from the floor. Ariel Atkins added 18 points, while Tianna Hawkins scored 17.

 Seattle was led by Jewell Loyd's 27 points, while Breanna Stewart added 25 on 52 percent shooting. The Mystics had no answer for the two former No. 1 picks as Stewart and Loyd combined for 52 of the Storm's 81 points. Head Coach Dan Hughes' team outscored Washington 19-16 in the fourth quarter to pull away late.

Game #2: Mystics 103, Phoenix 95

The lone win of the week for Washington came against the Phoenix Mercury. The Mystics would earn a 103-95 victory on the road over Phoenix (6-3) behind 30 points from Kristi Toliver.

Tianna Hawkins added 13 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, while the rookie Atkins had a season-high 21 points. Washington shook off their loss to Seattle and used a 34-22 third quarter to pull away.

Washington had no answer for the Mercury's Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner, who combined for 52 of Phoenix's 95 total points. Griner had a team-high 27 points on 81 percent shooting, while Bonner added 25.

Phoenix did their best to get back into the game with a 30 point fourth quarter but key stops for the Mystics would earn them the win.

Game #3: Mystics 73, Las Vegas 85

Washington closed out their three-game road trip with an 85-73 loss to the lowly Las Vegas Aces (1-6) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. 

The Mystics struggled from the opening tip as they trailed 25-17 going into the second quarter. Elena Delle Donne missed her third straight game with an illness and there is no doubt her presence was missed against the young and developing Aces. 

Monique Currie led Washington with 24 points and eight rebounds but Ariel Atkins had just 10 points. Washington shot just 40 percent for the game and shot a poor 18 percent from three-point range (3-for-16).

Las Vegas rookie A'ja Wilson scored 26 points and Dearica Hamby added 14 points, with 10 of her points coming in the fourth quarter. The Aces outscored the Mystics 21-17 in the final quarter and a key jumper from Kayla McBride sealed the win for the home squad.

Game #4: Mystics 64, Connecticut 88

Despite a return home, the Mystics' struggles continued. Washington suffered their second straight loss, an 88-64 defeat to the red-hot Connecticut Sun (7-1). Delle Donne missed her fourth straight game with an illness and with the Mystics facing off against the hottest team in the league, it was a bad combination.

Atkins was just one of three Mystics players in double figures as she led the team with 14 points. Currie and Hawkins each added 10 for Washington.

The Mystics had no answer for Connecticut's Jasmine Thomas, who scored a season-high 25 points. She connected on four three-pointers on the night. Alex Bentley added 15 points, while Chiney Ogwumike had 11.

Game #5: Mystics 80, Minnesota 88

The Mystics ended the week with a home loss to the struggling defending champions, despite getting their star back. Washington fell 88-80 to the Minnesota Lynx (3-6) and even a better shooting night could not help their odds of changing their luck around.

Delle Donne returned to the lineup after a four-game absence but scored just 8 points. Natasha Cloud led the Mystics with 17 points and five rebounds, while Toliver had 15 points for the Mystics, who lost their third straight game.

Minnesota used a 20-11 fourth quarter to pull away late as Sylvia Fowles led her squad with 21 points and eight rebounds. Maya Moore added 19 points and Seimone Augustus chipped in 16 for the Lynx, who are off to a less than idle start to the season.

Up Next

The Mystics are 5-4 on the season and will play just two games in week four, one at home and one on the road. Here is a look at their schedule for next week:

6/13: At Connecticut Sun (7-1) - Mohegan Sun Arena, 6 pm ET

6/15: Vs. LA Sparks (5-2) - Capital One Arena, 6 pm ET

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