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Dolson leads Mystics over Sun 73-68 in season opener

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Dolson leads Mystics over Sun 73-68 in season opener

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- Stefanie Dolson had 18 points and 12 rebounds -- both career highs -- to help the Washington Mystics beat the Connecticut Sun 73-68 on Friday night in the opener for both teams.

Ivory Latta added 15 points and five assists for the Mystics.

Alex Bentley led the Sun with 17 points and Kelsey Bone added 14.

Latta's free throws gave Washington a three-point lead with 24.2 seconds remaining and, after Dolson's 12th rebound, off a miss by Thomas, Latta made two more to ice it.

Connecticut was without 2014 Rookie of the Year Chiney Ogwumike and Allison Hightower, both recovering from offseason knee surgery.

Washington led 44-40 at the half and immediately ran the lead to 12. Dolson started the run with a three-point play, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt nailed a 3-pointer, and Dolson hit a medium-range jumper to make it 52-40, while the Sun missed their first five shots after intermission.

The Mystics went cold at the start of the fourth quarter. The Sun went on an 8-0 run, then Chelsea Gray's running bank shot tied it at 57 with 8:07 left. Connecticut took a one-point lead with 3:26 left on a pair of free throws by Alyssa Thomas.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Breaking down the Wizards' 2018 draft class

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Breaking down the Wizards' 2018 draft class

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller analyze the Wizards' two picks the night of the draft.

They went in-depth on first round pick Troy Brown, Jr. and why the Wizards took him when some big names were still on the board. They also broke down why the Wizards chose to pick a draft-and-stash guy in the second round.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Ernie Grunfeld uses second round pick on draft-and-stash prospect Issuf Sanon

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USA Today Sports

Ernie Grunfeld uses second round pick on draft-and-stash prospect Issuf Sanon

The Washington Wizards selected international prospect Issuf Sanon with the 44th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft on Thursday night.

Like Wizards first round pick Troy Brown, Sanon is just 18 years old and does not turn 19 until Oct. 30. President of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld said that Sanon is a draft-and-stash prospect and will play at least the following year for Olimpija, a professional team in Slovenia.

Here’s what you need to know about Sanon:

Height: 6-4

Weight: 172

2017-18 stats: 20.5 mpg, 6.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.2 bpg, 42.9 FG%, 28.3 3PT%, 50 FT%

*Sanon is a defensive-minded combo guard that is not expected to be ready for the next few years. However, he thrived defensively, allowing just 0.471 points per isolation possession, according to the NBA. That ranks in the 92nd percentile. In the past two seasons in Ukraine’s second division, Sanon averaged 4.6 steals per game.

*While playing in the 2017 U-18 Euros for the Ukrainian National team last summer, Sanon broke out, averaging 19.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 3.4 steals per game. 

*During the middle of the 2017-18 season, Sanon changed teams. He moved from Ukraine’s Dnipro to the more competitive Olimpija in Slovenia.

*The biggest area of improvement for Sanon is developing his offensive game further. While he is just 18 and very raw, Sanon’s numbers have dipped since his move to Olimpija, especially shooting wise. Sanon’s strength comes in transition and his 6-4 frame helps him when slashing to the rim.

*Though he will not play for the Wizards anytime soon, he will come to the United States and play on the Wizards’ Summer League team.