After struggling from beyond the arc for most of the season, the Washington Mystics have found their touch recently. They’ll try to continue that trend against the worst 3-point defending team in the WNBA.
Washington looks for a fifth win in six games when it hosts the struggling Tulsa Shock on Friday night.
The Mystics (11-13) beat Connecticut 89-75 at home Wednesday. After a disappointing All-Star game performance in which she scored two points on 1-of-4 shooting Saturday, Ivory Latta finished two shy of a season high with 23 points.
Washington pulled away with a dominant fourth quarter, outscoring the Sun 30-16 to help coach Mike Thibault defeat the team that fired him in 2012.
"I won’t lie. It’s fun beating them," Thibault said. "Right now, I don’t think about them necessarily. It’s just one more team in our way."
The Mystics are shooting a league-worst 30.0 percent from 3-point range but have hit 40.3 percent from behind the arc in their last four victories. They were 8 for 18 against the Sun, with Latta going 5 for 7.
"We’re playing better stretches of basketball. We are moving the ball better on offense," Thibault said. "The biggest thing is we’re making some of the shots we weren’t making earlier in the year."
Tulsa (8-16) owns the worst record in the WNBA and is allowing opponents shoot 38.4 percent on 3s, highest in the league. The Shock have dropped nine of 11 following Tuesday’s 95-93 loss at San Antonio – their eighth defeat by three or fewer points.
Odyssey Sims and Skylar Diggins scored career highs of 39 and 34 points, respectively, but Danielle Robinson hit the winning layup with 3.5 seconds remaining. Tulsa called a timeout prior to its final possession but couldn’t get a shot off after having the inbounds pass stolen.
Sims was 15 of 20 from the field.
"I just stayed aggressive," she said. "One thing coach was telling me was to stay aggressive from the jump, attack, come off pick-and-rolls, hit outside jumpers and just attack it. I think the lane was open a lot, so I kept taking it in there."
Sims was 3 for 10 with seven points in a 91-74 home loss to Washington on July 12 while Diggins scored 16 on 7-for-20 shooting. Six players had at least 11 points for the Mystics with Latta and Emma Meesseman each scoring 15.
The victory was Washington’s ninth in 11 meetings.