Mystics use big 4th quarter to rally past Sparks

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 17 points and Myisha Hines-Allen added 16 to help the Washington Mystics rally for an 82-80 road victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night.

Julie Vanloo scored 15 points on five 3-pointers, Ariel Atkins had 12 points and Stefanie Dolson contributed 10 points and eight rebounds for the Mystics (5-15).

Stephanie Talbot had 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals and Aari McDonald registered 17 points and six assists for Los Angeles (4-15), which dropped its eighth consecutive game. Dearica Hamby added 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for her 12th double-double of the campaign.

Washington shot 47.8 percent, including 12 of 26 from 3-point range, while snapping a two-game slide.

Rickea Jackson added 12 points for the Sparks, who made 46.7 percent of their attempts and were 13 of 30 from behind the arc.

The Mystics trailed 64-52 after three quarters before dominating the final 10 minutes.

Hamby scored the first basket of the fourth quarter to give the Sparks a game-best 14-point lead before the Mystics outscored Los Angeles 30-11 over the next nine-plus minutes.

Washington countered with 14 straight points to knot the score at 66. Jade Melbourne made two free throws with 6:54 remaining — her team’s first attempts from the line — to bring the Mystics within two and added a layup with 5:44 left.

Washington finally moved ahead for the first time since the opening minutes of the game as Walker-Kimbrough drained a 3-pointer to give the Mystics a 75-74 lead with 2:55 remaining.

Nia Nurse connected on a 3-pointer 18 seconds later to put the Sparks back ahead. Then Atkins answered with a basket to tie it at 77 with 2:24 to go.

Dolson converted a three-point play with 1:18 left to give Washington an 80-77 lead.

Los Angeles later sabotaged itself with two turnovers with under 20 seconds left– one on a steal by Walker-Kimbrough, the other an illegal screen foul called on Talbot — as the Mystics closed it out.

Talbot scored 12 first-half points as Los Angeles led 43-38 at the break. Hines-Allen had 10 points in the half for the Mystics.

The Sparks scored the first eight points of the third quarter to take a 13-point advantage. Washington was within six later in the period before Los Angeles increased the lead to 12 entering the final stanza.

–Field Level Media