WASHINGTON – For the second game in a row, the Lynx went up against the best team in the WNBA.
This time, it didn’t go quite as well.
Emma Meesseman scored a season-high 25 points, Elena Delle Donne had 23 points and 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double and the Washington Mystics beat the Lynx 101-78 on Sunday.
The Lynx were coming off an 89-57 home victory over Connecticut on Friday, a 32-point rout that ranked as the fifth-largest winning margin in team history. The Sun had won seven games in a row and had the league’s best record at the time.
That distinction now belongs to Washington (17-7), which has won three in a row and eight of nine. The Mystics — averaging a league-high 87.3 points per game, more than five points higher than any other team in the league — scored 100 points for the third time this season, improved to 12-0 when scoring at least 90 and won by at least 20 points for the ninth time this season.
The Mystics shot 54.8% (34-for-62) from the floor and made 27 of 29 shots from the foul line — their season high for free-throw attempts and tying their season mark for free throws made. It was the first time the Lynx had given up at least 100 points since a 100-76 loss at Chicago on July 8, 2017.
“We’ve got one of the top defensive teams in the league, but you would not know that by watching this game today,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We had zero concept of defending the post. Zero. Three players with 20-plus points — 25, 23 and 20 on our defense.”
Aerial Powers added 20 points for Washington, and Myisha Hines-Allen scored 13. Meesseman shot 9-for-13 from the floor and 6-for-6 on free throws, while Delle Donne shot 8-for-14 from the floor and 7-for-7 from the line.
“She’s a really good player, so we know she’s going to score,” Lynx rookie Napheesa Collier said of guarding Delle Donne. “It’s about making her do things that are not her first go-to but her second and third option. That’s what I tried to make her do.”
Odyssey Sims led the Lynx (12-12) with 20 points and eight assists. Temi Fagbenle scored 12 points off the bench and Collier had 11 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Ariel Atkins hit a three-pointer that gave the Mystics the lead for good and sparked a 14-4 run that made it 25-16. The Mystics led 51-41 at halftime and 72-60 after three quarters before pulling away in the fourth.
“I thought our pick-and-roll defense was decent. We didn’t allow easy pocket passing, which they like to do,” Reeve said. “I thought our rotations were good. We did not defend the post. That was bulk of it. … I thought that our pick-and-roll defense, our help-side and penetration was pretty good. Our rebounding was occasional.”