- The favored Washington Mystics opened the WNBA Finals with a solid 95-86 win over the Connecticut Sun
- 2019 league MVP Elena Delle Donne led the Mystics with 22 points
- Washington is an eight-point favorite to win Game 2 of the best-of-five series on Tuesday
The favored Washington Mystics accomplished something Sunday that they’d never done before in the WNBA Finals.
They won a game.
The Mystics opened the best-of-five series by covering as seven-point favorites, downing the Connecticut Sun 95-86. Game 2 goes Tuesday at Washington and sportsbooks have moved the Mystics up to the eight-point chalk to grab a 2-0 stranglehold on the set.
Sun vs Mystics WNBA Finals Game 2 Odds
|Connecticut Sun||+315||+8.0 (-110)||Over 170.0 (-110)|
|Washington Mystics||-450||-8.0 (-110)||Under 170.0 (-110)|
Odds taken 09/30/19.
Game 1 winners have gone on to capture nine of the last 11 WNBA Finals. The last five times the home team won Game 1, the series finished in a sweep.
Delle Donne Domination
WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne keeps on doing MVP type of stuff for the Mystics in the playoffs.
She scored 25 points in their semi-final clinching win over the Las Vegas Aces. In Game 1 of the Finals, Delle Donne went off for 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
.@De11eDonne (22 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists in Game 1) is the 3rd player in #WNBAFinals history to record at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists, joining Lisa Leslie (2001) and Deanna Nolan (2007). pic.twitter.com/g8yEXfeSFG
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 29, 2019
She’s just the third player in WNBA Finals history to post a 20-10-5 game. Delle Donne was able to dominate in the paint against NBA Second Team All-Defense member Alyssa Thomas of the Sun.
Whenever Connecticut threatened to make a run and cut into Washington’s lead, Delle Donne always seemed to step up and hit a back-breaking basket.
Delle Donne has scored in double digits in 29 of her appearances this season. She’s scored at least 20 points with at least five rebounds in 11 of the last 17 games. The Game 1 performance was Delle Donne’s ninth double-double of the season.
Steady Diet Of Atkins
Washington expects to get big-time performances in terms of offense from Delle Donne, Emma Meeseman and Kristi Toliver. But in Game 1, second-year forward Ariel Atkins delivered the goods as well.
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 29, 2019
Atkins netted 21 points, well above her season average of 10.3 points per game. She scored Washington’s first five points of the game. Atkins finished six-of-seven from the field, including three-for-four from 3-point range.
It was a significant improvement over what was a dismal semi-final performance for Atkins. She scored just 18 points in the four-game series, going five-for-21 from the floor.
Fast Break Finals
Overall, 10 of the last 14 teams to win Game 1 of the WNBA Finals have gone on to lift the championship trophy. The home team has won six of seven series after taking Game 1.
In two previous final appearances, the Sun found themselves 1-1 in the series after two games. In 2004, Connecticut beat the Seattle Storm at home in Game 1. But the Sun lost Games 2 and 3 to drop the best-of-three series.
Turning the page. pic.twitter.com/gvShXPTWS3
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) September 30, 2019
The following season, Connecticut faced the Sacramento Monarchs in the final, again with home-court advantage. Sacramento took Game 1 but Connecticut rebounded to win Game 2. Sacramento won two straight at home to capture the best-of-five series in four games.
What to Expect in Game 2?
It wasn’t a complete downer for the Sun on Sunday but perhaps that’s more bad news than good. Thomas scored 20 points. Courtney Williams, Connecticut’s leading postseason scorer, continued her torrid pace.
— LaChina Robinson (@LaChinaRobinson) September 29, 2019
Williams finished with a game-high 26 points. That included a career-high six 3-pointers, one shy of the WNBA Finals record set in 2007 by Diana Taurasi.
Connecticut’s best players were the Sun’s best players and Washington still beat them by nine points. That doesn’t bode well for this being a long series.
Washington grabbed a 30-17 first-quarter lead. The Sun can’t dig holes like that against the league’s #1 offense.
Pick: Washington Mystics [-450, -8 (-110)].
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