The dust hasn’t even settled outside of the Entertainment and Sports Arena, but the Washington Mystics are already setting the tone for road opponents this season.
In two games at their new home court in Congress Heights, the Mystics have put up 199 points following their 103-85 blowout of the Chicago Sky.
“It’s a shooter’s gym,” Kristi Toliver told NBC Sports Washington.
And boy is it. For the second time this week, the game was over by midway through the third quarter. The Mystics (2-1) were rolling, and the ball never stopped moving in their offense. Four starters quickly reached double figures and all six of the players who came off the bench scored, the Mystics building a 27-point lead at one point.
Through three quarters they were shooting 51 percent from the field and 46 percent from three with an 83-56 edge. At that point, the Sky (1-2) had committed 12 turnovers
The starters barely played in the fourth quarter, resting after long outings in the first two games.
The final buzzer sounded less than two hours after the tip. A crowd of 2,347 of a 4,200 capacity arena left with as much energy as they brought in.
“On a Wednesday night, I was thrilled to see this many people show up. It still felt really energetic,” Elena Delle Donne told reporters.
It was only the second game of the season for Delle Donne, who had a modest 12 points, shooting 4-for-14 and sitting the entire fourth quarter. The former WNBA MVP missed the opening game of the season with a left knee injury. On Wednesday she was still wearing a custom-made knee brace.
Her lack of offense did not stymie the rest of the Mystics though. They shot 51 percent without her, led by Toliver’s 19 points.
“The environment has been really good with all the fans getting into it and obviously a lot more intimate. It’s been good for us and tough for our opponents,” Toliver said.
Off the bench, Belgian Emma Meesseman was 6-for-7 from the field with 12 points to lead the substitutes for 43 bench points. Now, she heads overseas to compete for the European Basketball Championship, during which time she could miss up to a month of the WNBA season.
Meanwhile, the Mystics stay stateside after starting a four-game stretch in seven days. Their next home game is Sunday, book-ended by a trip to New York and Connecticut.
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