Mystics fend off furious Fever rally, 89-84

Ariel Atkins scored 26 points and the Washington Mystics survived for an 89-84 road victory over the Indiana Fever on Wednesday afternoon at Indianapolis.

Stefanie Dolson and Julie Vanloo added 13 points apiece, while Aaliyah Edwards and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough came off the bench for 12 and 10 points, respectively.

The Mystics (6-17) finished a four-game road stretch with a 2-2 mark, snapping a two-game skid. They also avenged two losses to Indiana.

Caitlin Clark, in her first game since becoming the first rookie in WNBA history with a triple-double, racked up 29 points, 13 assists and five rebounds. She made five 3-pointers and was good on four free throws in the last 65 seconds.

Kelsey Mitchell supplied 15 points for Indiana, but she was 0-for-8 on 3s.

The Fever (9-14) were mistake prone with 23 turnovers, but they made a late 12-0 run to trim the deficit to 85-80. Later, it was 87-84 before a Vanloo free throw.

Atkins shot 10-for-17 from the field to boost Washington’s shooting percentage, which was 44 percent. Vanloo connected on three 3-point shots.

The margin was 76-55 entering the fourth quarter. The Fever pulled with 77-68 on Clark’s jumper with about six minutes left. Jade Melbourne and Atkins each hit two free throws before the Fever scored again.

The Mystics stormed out to a 33-19 lead early in the second quarter.

They took advantage of nine Indiana turnovers, while Vanloo drained a pair of 3-point shots. Washington received immediate offensive contributions from reserves; four bench players produced points across the game’s first 12 minutes.

Indiana’s early ballhandling problems negated the teams hot shooting for much of the first half. The Fever shot 53.4 percent for the game, including 53.6 percent before halftime.

The injury list has remained a factor for the Mystics, who were without Shakira Austin (high), Karlie Samuelson (hand) and Brittney Sykes (hip). Emily Engstler was back in action after missing Saturday’s game with an illness. She finished with four points.

–Field Level Media