Mystics 72, Miracle 68
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Heather Owen hit a 15-foot jumper in the final minute to give Washington the lead for good as the Mystics went on to defeat the Orlando Miracle 72-68 on Thursday night.
Owen’s jumper from the free-throw line, her only points of the game, gave the Mystics a 65-64 lead with 45 seconds left. Washington’s Andrea Nagy stretched the lead to 69-66 by hitting two free throws with 14.3 seconds left.
Orlando’s Shannon Johnson hit a short jumper with 8.2 seconds left to bring the Miracle within 69-68, but the Mystics’ Nikki McCray hit one of two free throws with 7.8 seconds left.
Taj McWilliams had a chance to tie it, but her short bank shot rolled off the rim and out of bounds with two seconds left. Chamique Holdsclaw then sealed the victory for Washington with two free throws.
The Mystics blew a 13-point second-half lead, but Holdsclaw and McCray made big plays down the stretch to save Washington. Holdsclaw, who finished with 24 points, scored six straight at one point and had a key rebound in the final minutes.
McCray scored 17 of her 24 points in the second half, including 10 in the first seven minutes of the half as the Mystics built their 13-point lead.
However, McWilliams sparked an Orlando rally that helped the Miracle eventually take the lead, scoring 21 of her 24 points after halftime.
The win was Washington’s second in a row and just the second time in the team’s two-year history that the Mystics have put together a winning streak.