|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CTNaN:� , September 6, 2017
Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia Attendance: 6,483
Delle Donne leads Mystics to playoff win over Wings
(TSX / STATS) -- Elena Delle Donne was practically unstoppable in the third quarter, scoring 10 of her 25 points to lead the Washington Mystics to an 86-76 first-round playoff victory over the Dallas Wings on Wednesday night at Capital One Arena in Washington.
Delle Donne, who averaged 23.4 points per game in her last five games since returning from a midseason thumb injury, also had 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.
The Mystics (19-16) will play a second-round game against the Liberty in New York on Sunday. The winner of that contest moves on to the best-of-five WNBA semifinals against either the Minnesota Lynx or the Los Angeles Sparks.
Dallas ended its season at 16-19.
Washington seemingly had the game in hand with a 13-point lead until Dallas went on a 9-0 run late in the fourth quarter to get within 71-67.
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt rescued the Mystics with two consecutive buckets as Washington built the lead back to 75-67.
The Wings had some fight left, though. After a scrum under the Dallas basket with 1:32 left, a double technical was called on Ruffin-Pratt and Aerial Powers. Powers made both free throws, and Ruffin-Pratt made one of two.
Moments later, Powers hit a short jumper to make the score 76-71. However, she was called for her second technical and ejected when her arm smacked Emma Meesseman in the face with 1:10 left.
From there, the Mystics held on and advanced.
The teams met for the fourth time this season, and in each of the previous three contests, the road team was victorious.
This time, Delle Donne and Meesseman made sure the home crowd went home happy.
Meesseman had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Krystal Thomas led Washington's dominance on the boards with 17 rebounds.
Powers came off the bench to lead the Wings with 21 points. Glory Johnson had 15 points and 14 rebounds for Dallas, and Skylar Diggins-Smith also finished with 15 points.
Washington controlled most of the first half except for a two-minute span at the end of the second quarter. During that time, the Mystics saw a double-digit lead vanish in a hurry.
The Wings went on a 13-0 run to close the half and make it 34-all. Powers scored nine second-quarter points to ignite the comeback.
Washington was held scoreless for the final 3:12 of the second quarter. The Mystics' last bucket of the half came on a Meesseman 20-foot jumper that gave Washington a 34-21 lead.
Dallas took its only lead of the game at 36-34 at the start of the third quarter on a Diggins-Smith layup.
Meesseman answered with a 3-pointer to give the Mystics a lead they never relinquished.
Unlike in the second quarter when the Mystics opened a 13-point lead only to see Powers spark a rally, this time the defense settled in and Delle Donne went to work.
In the second-quarter stretch, Powers connected on Dallas' first 3-point shot of the game with just under two minutes in the half to make the score 34-26 and ignite the Wings' comeback.
Before then, Powers was 0 of 8 from downtown.
But that was the only 3-point attempt the Wings made until the final second of the game. They finished the game 2 of 21 (9.5 percent) from beyond the arc. Washington was 6 of 18 from long distance.
Updated September 7, 2017