Myisha Hines-Allen recorded a career-high 27 points and the new-look Washington Mystics cruised past the Indiana Fever, 101-76, Saturday at IMG Academy in the season-opener for both teams.
Allen had a game-high 10 rebounds for the double-double.
Washington tipped off play in the Bradenton, Fla., bubble without four of the five starters from last season’s championship-winning squad — most notably 2019 Most Valuable Player Elena Delle Donne, who opted out due to falling in the high-risk group for COVID-19.
The Mystics’ revamped lineup and delayed start due to the COVID-19 pandemic did not slow the defending champs, who shot a torrid 72.2 percent from the floor in the first half, including 71.4 percent from behind the 3-point line.
The Mystics closed the game shooting 55.9 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Hines-Allen made her first three 3-point attempts and shot 64.7 percent from the floor for the game. Her 14 first-quarter points, capped on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, helped fuel a 17-7 Mystics run.
She ended the first half with 22 points, four more than she scored in the final nine games combined a season ago.
Washington extended its lead to as many as 29 points in the second quarter, and reached a high of 37 points in the third quarter.
Aerial Powers went 4-of-4 from the floor before halftime and scored 10 of her 16 points in the first half. Five Mystics scored in double-figures, with Shey Peddy and Ariel Atkins both chipping in 10 points, and Emma Meesseman adding 14 points with three assists.
Washington scored 14 of its 37 made field goals off of assists. The Mystics set a league record averaging 21.9 assists per game in 2019.
Kelsey Mitchell, Candice Dupree and Tiffany Mitchell all scored in double-figures for Indiana with 25, 13 and 15 points. Kelsey Mitchell shot 5-of-7 from behind the 3-point line, but Indiana finished just 8-of-26 from deep as a team.
The Fever played without 2019 All-Star Game MVP Erica Wheeler, who had tested positive for COVID-19. Indiana will be without Wheeler indefinitely, as she must fulfill a seven-day quarantine upon joining the team in Florida once she tests negative.
–Field Level Media