A great deal was at stake in the game between the Mystics
and the Sun
at the Phone Booth tonight. For the Mystics, it was a must win in order to retain their precarious hold on 4th place in the East and stay alive in the playoff race. And for the Sun, it was a chance to gain ground on Indy
and grab home court advantage for the first round of the playoffs. With so much on the line, both teams came out and treated the crowd to playoff intensity basketball
, not something that Mystics fans have seen much of this season.
While it took the Mystics a little while to find their offensive rhythm, scoring only 9 points
in the first quarter, they played good defense throughout the game (as did the Sun), and were only down 6 points at the half and 1 point at the end of the 3rd period. Alana Beard exploded
during the 4th quarter
, scoring all 18
of the Mystics' points in that period, finishing with a game-high 28 points! And Coco Miller
, playing in front of Mom
(a couple of the nicest folks you'd ever want to meet), came off the bench, and not only put up 15 points, but chased Lindsay Whalen
all over the court on the defensive end. (Lindsay
, by the way, has quite a potty mouth.) The Sun pulled out all stops to win this game -- Margo Dydek
played 30 minutes, the most we can remember seeing her play in quite some time -- and they came close. But in a heart-stopping end to a really exciting game all around, the Mystics went up by one, 65-64, and Connecticut missed
what would have been the game-winner at the buzzer. When the backboard lit up red, the fans were loud and on their feet. It was a good night to be at the Phone Booth.
And then the night only got better. By winning, the Mystics knocked Chicago
out of playoff contention. The Liberty
, playing on the road against Chicago, started their game a half-game behind the Mystics, but, unlike DC, did not
take care of business, losing to a Sky team playing only for pride (and for Chas, see below
), 77-65. This puts DC a full game and a half ahead of the Libs. The Mystics have two more games to play, including the head-to-head game against New York on Thursday at the Phone Booth, which is also DC's last home game of the regular season and Fan Appreciation Night. A win over the Libs would mean that on Sunday, when the Mystics play Connecticut again at the Casino (in the last game of the regular season), the Mystics could play Krazy Kops and not have to worry whether Lady Luck will smile on them.
* * * * * * *
The BasketCases send all good thoughts to one of our favorite ex-Mystics
, Chasity Melvin
, who suffered a very scary eye injury
tonight in the Sky-Liberty game. We were relieved to read that, as frightening
as the injury was, the doctors say that Chas
has not suffered a loss of vision.