Ariel Atkins made five free throws in the final 30 seconds Friday night as the host Washington Mystics held off the Dallas Wings 75-74.
Atkins snapped a 70-70 tie by canning three foul shots to give Washington (3-2) the lead for good, then made two more with 6.6 seconds left after grabbing the rebound of a missed 3-pointer by Satou Sabally that would have given Dallas a lead.
Atkins’ final free throws came in handy when Sabally drained a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left. The Mystics were able to inbound the ball successfully and run out the clock.
Elena Delle Donne scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Washington, while Atkins added 16 points and eight rebounds. Shakira Austin contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Natasha Cloud chipped in 10 points with eight assists.
Sabally and Arike Ogunbowale each scored 18 points for Dallas (3-2), with Sabally adding 14 rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Natasha Howard added 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The Mystics hit only 19 of 59 attempts (32.2 percent) from the field and were outrebounded 45-40 but won the game at the foul line. They were 29 of 31 while the Wings made 13 of 16. Dallas hit 34.2 percent, 26 of 76, from the floor.
Neither team could make a shot in a ragged first quarter, combining to hit 8-for-37 from the field. Washington canned just 3 of 16 but managed a 14-14 tie because it got to the foul line, sinking all eight of its tries.
The Mystics created a bit of separation in the second quarter, ripping off 12 straight points in a stretch of just under 3 1/2 minutes to take a 32-23 lead on a layup by Natasha Cloud. Washington took a 36-30 advantage to intermission.
Washington increased the margin to 11 early in the third quarter and still owned a 53-43 lead at the 3:41 mark of the third quarter when Dallas made its move. It finished the period with a 14-2 burst, capped by Sabally’s 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds remaining to take a 57-55 edge.
–Field Level Media