|1:00 PM PT2:00 PM MT3:00 PM CT4:00 PM ET20:00 GMT4:00 1:00 PM MST3:00 PM EST0:00 UAE (+1)22:0016:00 ET3:00 PM CTNaN:� , June 7, 2018
Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia Attendance: 8,587
Mystics struggling without Delle Donne ahead of clash with Lynx
WASHINGTON -- The Minnesota Lynx and Washington Mystics are assured a large and enthusiastic crowd for Thursday's matinee at Capital One Arena.
Originally slated for 7 p.m., the game was moved back to 4 p.m. to accommodate a Washington Capitals watch party for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Tickets for the game will be free with attendees allowed to remain in the arena for the watch party as the Capitals go for the clincher in Las Vegas.
The Mystics (5-3) can use the added support. With leading scorer Elena Delle Donne absent due an illness, they have lost three of four.
On Sunday, Washington was routed at home by the Connecticut Sun 88-64. The Mystics set season lows in points and field goal percentage (36.1).
"I'm struggling to find the right combination of people to score and defend, to do both ends of the floor," Mystics coach Mike Thibault said. "It's a struggle right now."
Rookie guard Ariel Atkins led Washington with 14 points, and Tianna Hawkins and Monique Currie each scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds.
"It's been a tough stretch, but it's nothing that we didn't know for a long time," center Krystal Thomas said. "It's on us to be able to bounce back from this. We are here for a couple of days with games, so we've got to regroup, refocus, and get back to what we were doing just a few days ago."
The Lynx (2-5) could provide Washington an opportunity to bounce back. Minnesota has lost four straight, including a 90-78 defeat in Washington on May 27.
Last time out, Candace Parker had 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Lynx 77-69 on Sunday.
Maya Moore finished with 18 points, including three 3-pointers, for the Lynx and Sylvia Fowles added 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists. The Lynx shot just 25 percent (4 of 16) from the field in the third quarter.
Alexis Jones and Cecilia Zandalasini played career highs of 28 and 19 minutes, respectively. Jones played the minutes usually allocated to Lindsay Whalen, while Zandalasini took Rebekkah Brunson's place, though both veterans started.
"We're managing the health of our players, so I thought I'd take better care of them," coach Cheryl Reeve told the Minneapolis Tribune. "In the case of Brunson, I just haven't been good to her. I can't play her 35 minutes like I have been playing her. I just want to be more responsible."
The defending champion Lynx arrived in Washington a day early. Unlike after previous championships, the team did not receive an invitation to the White House. Instead, the players did community service, visiting a local school.
"We want to serve," Reeve told the Tribune. "We want to give back, show that this is what champions do."
Updated June 6, 2018