ATLANTA (AP) - Even with a depleted roster, Crystal Langhorne loves the Washington Mystics' tough spirit.
``We just kept fighting,' she said. ``We were down pretty much the whole game, but once we got to overtime, we knew we could win. So we just kept playing hard and came out with a win.'
Langhorne had 30 points and 13 rebounds, Nicky Anosike added a career-high 29 points and 13 boards, and the Washington Mystics beat the Atlanta Dream 98-90 in overtime on Thursday night.
Matee Ajavon scored 24 points and Kelly Miller had 10 against for the Mystics (1-1), who were without Alana Beard (bruised foot) and rookie center Ta'Shia Phillips (ankle). Also, Monique Currie is out for the season with a knee injury.
``I think we knew going into the game that nobody believed in us,' Anosike said. ``Throughout the league, people don't expect us to have a successful season. Nobody except ourselves thought we could win tonight. That really fueled us, especially in the fourth quarter. It was either play now or go home with another loss.'
Erika DeSouza, who missed the final 2:44 of overtime with an apparent nose injury, led the Dream (0-2) with 20 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Iziane Castro Marques scored 16 points, Armintie Price added 12, Lindsey Harding had 11 and Sancho Lyttle 10.
Angel McCoughtry returned from a knee injury for Atlanta, but played just 3 minutes, going 1 for 4 from the field for two points.
``She's feeling good,' Dream coach Marynell Meadors said. ``I am probably a little afraid to put her in because this was just her second day of action full court. I want to work her back into a little bit more. It takes time for her to heal.'
Langhorne's putback capped the Mystics' 8-0 run that gave them an 82-80 lead - their first since late in the first quarter - with 4:35 left in regulation.
Castro Marques' 16-footer put Atlanta ahead 85-82, but after Miller's 3-pointer tied it, Harding missed a wild runner that would've won the game at the regulation buzzer.
``We finally got some stops and some rebounds,' Langhorne said. ``They were beating us in the transition game, and we just had to do better at making stops.'
Miller's straightaway jumper gave the Mystics a two-point lead in overtime, and Washington never trailed in the final 5 minutes.
Shalee Lehning scored the Dream's only two baskets of overtime.
``We tried to push the ball but we need to make better decisions when we don't have a situation where we can push,' Meadors said. ``We have to be able to set up and run a halfcourt offense. We just failed to make those decisions.'
In a rematch of a WNBA first-round playoff series that Atlanta won 2-0 last season, the Mystics pulled within two points when Ajavon's made it 77-75 with 7:57 remaining in the fourth quarter.
``I thought that we played with a great deal of intensity,' Washington coach Trudi Lacey said. ``We didn't get discouraged when we got down. They played with the heart of a champion. They played as a team, and we came out with a win.'
The teams were playing for the first time since a draft-day deal sent Harding to the Dream in exchange for Miller and Phillips.
Kerri Gardin - signed by the Mystics with a concern they would only have eight active players dressed - finished with three points, three rebounds, five rebounds and a game-high six steals in 21 minutes.
``We had to make a few adjustments,' Lacey said. ``But the team is resilient, and we have versatility. So they're willing to do whatever it takes for the team to be successful.'
The Associated Press News Service
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