BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Aerial Powers scored a career-high 27 points on 10-of-14 shooting and the Washington Mystics beat the Connecticut Sun 94-89 on Tuesday night in a rematch of the 2019 Finals.
Ariel Atkins and Myisha Hines-Allen each scored 16 points for the defending champion Mystics (2-0) and Emma Meesseman added 12 points and a career-best tying eight assists.
Alyssa Thomas scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and DeWanna Bonner had 29 points, nine boards and five assists for Connecticut (0-2). Bonner also had two steals to become one of six active players with at least 400 career steals (401).
Atkins made a 3 and a layup to spark a 13-0 run that was capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Hines-Allen and Powers and made it 65-56 with 5:41 left in the third quarter. Atkins converted a three-point play about two minutes later to give the Mystics, who led the rest of the way, a 10-point lead.
Washington made 11 of 15 (73.3%), including 3 of 5 from 3-point range, while outscoring the Sun 28-19 in the third quarter. The Mystics then scored 12 of the first 14 fourth-quarter points to push their lead to 88-73 with 5:52 to play. Connecticut went 1 for 6 from the field with four turnovers over the first four-plus minutes of the period.
Jacki Gemelos checked in for Connecticut midway through the fourth quarter and the Sun trailing by 13. She hit two 3s, and Bonner added a third, in a 16-3 spurt that cut the deficit to 91-89 with 1:39 left but they got no closer. It was Gemelos’ first appearance in a WNBA game since Sept. 13, 2015, a span of 1,780 days.