Unbelievable! For long stretches tonight, the Mystics played, to put it nicely, some pretty crappy basketball. They committed 25 turnovers (and gave up 23 points off those TOs); they dribbled the ball out of bounds; they failed to inbound the ball in the required 5 seconds. They committed (or at least were called for) 22 personal fouls. Washington trailed Indiana for practically the entire game. But you know what? In the end it didn't matter!
Thanks primarily to Lindsey Harding, who played OUT-OF-HER-MIND tonight (33 points . . . a new career high), THE MYSTICS WON, 77-73! With less than 5 minutes left in the 4th and the Mystics down by 7 (64-71),
the Mystics Lindsey Harding went on a 13-2 run to: a) erase the Indy lead, b) pull the Mystics ahead, and c) seal the win with 4 straight free throws. In other words, Lindsey was simply AMAZING! She scored the final 13 points for the Mystics. Did we mention she (Lindsey) and it (the closing minutes of the game) were un-be-liev-able?
Judging from the BCs' reaction watching on Live Access and the reaction of fans on message boards, we think it's safe to say that there were plenty of happy dances being done by Mystics fans all over the DMV tonight. Ho-ly Harding, Batman, that was one exciting ending. Wow.
So the team that went slipping and sliding to an "L" this evening was the first-place Fever. And that's something that rarely happens to them at home. In fact, Indy is now 10-3 at Conseco. Two of those three home losses were to the Mystics, the other was to Connecticut. That's it.
The Mystics desperately needed a win tonight, and they got it. Not only was it the second half of a back-to-back, but they got the win in one of the most difficult arenas in the WNBA. Let's hope this was the big momentum change that Washington needed to regain its early-season form.
The Mystics will be back in the Phone Booth on Sunday to take on Tulsa at 4 PM, playing, as was announced today, in front of a "special guest" for whom "additional security measures" will be taken and, as a consequence, doors will open early, at 2:30 PM. Our thoughts about just who that "special guest" might be are in the post immediately below (link here.)
The Tulsa Shock are at the bottom of the league, with a record of 4-21. It would be exceedingly embarrassing if the Mystics lost on their home floor to Tulsa. And it would be even more embarrassing if they did it in front of Sunday's "special guest." But we don't expect that to happen. What we hope -- and expect -- to see is the Mystics play a good game in front of their ordinary-extraordinary fans and a good game in front of their one un-named "special" fan.
So on Sunday, put on your pink (it's the annual Breast Health Awareness game), leave all sharp objects at home, bring your credit card and your checkbook for the post-game fundraising auction to benefit Sibley Hospital, and get yourself to the Phone Booth early and ready to cheer on the Mystics.
Go Mystics . . . Beat the afterShock!