The Washington Mystics beat the Atlanta Dream 85-78 on Sunday night, and in doing so secured the 8th and final spot in the WNBA playoffs, making it the fourth straight year the Mystics have reached the playoffs.
It was a trying season for Washington, and making the playoffs was an seemingly unlikely scenario for most of it. It was a season that provided a series of challenges, including the loss of four projected starters before the season even began (reigning MVP Elena Delle Donne, Natasha Cloud, LaToya Sanders and former MVP Tina Charles) and the loss of another (Aerial Powers) due to injury after it started.
The Mystics began the season strong, busting out to a 3-0 start but it went downhill quickly. The team lost the next seven in a row. However the team was able to rally when it counted and they reeled off four straight victories to finish the regular season to sneak into the playoffs.
Ariel Atkins led the way for the Mystics against the Dream as she poured in a team high 26 points. Myisha Hines-Allen finished with a double-double, putting in 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds while Emma Meesseman added 14 points and Kiara Leslie put in 11.
The eighth-seed Mystics take on the third-seed Phoenix Mercury in a single-elimination game Tuesday night.