WASHINGTON (AP) - Matee Ajavon scored 11 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter to help the Washington Mystics to an 85-81 victory over the Atlanta Dream on Thursday night.
Crystal Langhorne had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Jasmine Thomas scored 12 points as Washington (6-24) snapped a nine-game losing skid. Monique Currie, making her season debut after recovering form a torn left ACL while playing in Turkey in the offseason, finished with eight points and three rebounds in 9 1/2 minutes.
``She's (always) on the bench, giving us insight on what she can see from the bench,' Thomas said of Currie, who averaged 14.1 points per game with Washington last season. ``So to have her actually go in the game and provide that information and put it into play, it was important.'
Angel McCoughtry scored 30 points for Atlanta (16-14), which snapped its three-game win streak. The Dream, two wins from clinching a playoff spot with four to play, dropped one game behind third-place New York in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta hosts Washington at home on Friday night.
``We have been taking steps forward,' McCoughtry said. ``This is just a little bump, and tomorrow we've got them again.'
After trailing by 10 points early in the third quarter, Ajavon helped the Mystics slowly pull away in the fourth. She hit a baseline jumper, a pair of foul shots and then a 17-foot jumper before Currie's foul shots sealed an 8-2 spurt that gave Washington an 81-74 lead.
Then, after Atlanta closed to 81-79 on two free throws by McCoughtry, Ajavon made a contested 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 1:20 to play.
``I just, you know, was aggressive and I took what they gave me,' Ajavon said.
Langhorne did much of her damage in the third, scoring 10 points in an 18-4 run that gave the Mystics a 64-60 lead. But McCoughtry countered with a pair of free throws and a fading jumper to tie it at 64-all as the third quarter ended.
Currie entered to a standing ovation with 2:05 left in the first quarter and shot 2 for 4 from the field and 4 for 4 on free throws.
The Associated Press News Service
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