Mystics break through, beat Dream for first win

Brittney Sykes and Ariel Atkins each scored 18 points as the Washington Mystics got their first win of the season with an 87-68 victory over the Atlanta Dream in College Park, Ga., on Tuesday.

Sykes shot 7-for-12 from the field and 4-for-6 on 3-pointers, while Atkins was a perfect 3-for-3 from long range and had a team-high five assists.

Julie Vanloo added 11 points off the bench for the Mystics (1-12), who won for the first time since the 2023 regular-season finale — more than nine months ago. The Mystics shot 17 of 31 (54.8 percent) from 3-point range, the most triples for Washington since hitting 18 on Aug. 18, 2019, against Indiana.

Rhyne Howard led the Dream (5-5) with 16 points, while Aerial Powers scored 13 off the bench. Tina Charles tallied 12 points and nine rebounds for Atlanta, which has dropped three of its last four.

Holding a five-point halftime advantage, Washington saw its lead balloon to 49-38 at the 7:28 mark of the third quarter following consecutive 3-pointers from Stefanie Dolson and Sykes.

Cheyenne Parker-Tyus’ jumper briefly stopped the bleeding for Atlanta, but a pair of Aaliyah Edwards free throws and an Atkins runner gave Washington a 53-40 lead, forcing a Dream timeout with 5:11 left in the third.

Nia Coffey’s free throws got Atlanta’s deficit back down to nine, but Washington answered again as Sykes and Myisha Hines-Allen each scored to increase the lead to 59-46 with 1:49 left in the third.

Hines-Allen’s layup with 29.4 seconds left capped a 26-point Washington third quarter as the Mystics led 64-50 entering the fourth.

Washington’s momentum carried into the final quarter as Sykes buried two 3-pointers in the first minute followed by Vanloo’s layup that gave the Mystics a 72-53 lead with 8:01 left.

Atkins’ pullup jumper with 2:36 remaining put Washington up 82-62, its first 20-point lead of the game.

In the first quarter, Atlanta struck first on Parker-Tyus’ mid-range jumper, but Washington answered with a 13-2 scoring run, punctuated with Dolson’s triple and then two three-pointers from Vanloo.

The Mystics led by as many as 12 in the first quarter and entered the second with a 25-15 advantage.

Washington then led 37-25 at the 3:34 mark of the second quarter after Karlie Samuelson’s 3-pointer. From there, Atlanta finished the half on an 8-1 run, capped with Allisha Gray’s three-point play to cut the Dream’s halftime deficit to 38-33.

Atkins led Washington with nine first-half points while Charles paced Atlanta with 10.

–Field Level Media