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Currie, Hill, Latta lead Mystics past Atlanta

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ATLANTA (AP) - Coach Mike Thibault says the Washington Mystics are starting to believe they can win on the road.

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After going a combined 3-31 away from home during the previous two seasons, the Mystics are 6-9 on the road this year and have won three of their last four in their first season under Thibault.

``This team is learning to be resilient,'' Thibault said. ``A year ago, from watching them afar, these are the games they couldn't win, but we found a way to win those this year.''

Monique Currie, Tayler Hill and Ivory Latta each scored 15 points to help Washington beat the Atlanta Dream 85-80 in overtime Wednesday night.

Atlanta guard Angel McCoughtry, the WNBA's leading scorer, injured her right ankle at the 3:27 mark of overtime and did not return.

Currie shook off McCoughtry's defense on the left side of the floor and hit a 3-pointer to force overtime with 6.4 seconds left in regulation.

McCoughtry finished with 23 points, Jasmine Thomas added 18, and Erika de Souza had 15 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta (14-12), which has lost three straight and 11 of 15.

The Dream played without three of their top five leading scorers. Armintie Herrington missed the game with a concussion, Tiffany Hayes was out with a knee injury and Sancho Lyttle was sidelined by a broken foot for the 14th straight game.

After the game, Atlanta coach Fred Williams wasn't sure of McCoughtry's prognosis.

``She rolled her ankle a little bit,'' he said. ``I think they're going to ice it up and get it X-rayed.''

Crystal Langhorne finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Mystics (14-15), who beat the Dream last Friday at home and have won five of seven.

The game had 17 lead changes, but the Mystics never trailed after Hill's 3 broke a tie to make it 81-78 with 3:29 left in OT.

Latta, who finished with 10 assists, was proud that she, Currie and Kia Vaughn each overcame technical fouls in the third.

``In games like this, lead changes are going to happen, tempers are going to flare up,'' Latta said. ``But it's the team that buckles down that will win, and that is what we did.''

The Dream's offensive problems beyond the arc took another bad turn. Atlanta began the game with the league's worst shooting percentage on 3s after going a combined 4 for 25 in consecutive losses to Washington and Chicago.

Wednesday's performance was a dismal 2 for 14. Thomas was 1 for 6.

``We're still trying to find our way there in that area,'' Williams said. ``I think our inside game looks good with Erika getting double-doubles for us, and we still have to get the basketball inside more.''

Thomas played a career-high 44 minutes with so many Atlanta players injured.

``Offensively and defensively, my only focus was to play hard and not worry about being tired,'' Thomas said. ``When you have players down, you just have to do whatever it takes.''

Washington got a big lift from guard Matee Ajavon, who scored all six of her points in the fourth quarter. She had two layups through the left side of the lane in the final minute of regulation to cut Atlanta's lead to one.

But after rookie Alex Bentley hit a pair of free throws with 13.8 seconds left, the Mystics never surrendered momentum.

It's a refreshing turn of events for Washington, which had lost eight straight series matchups with Atlanta before winning the last two.

``That was a crazy game,'' Thibault said. ``I don't know if anyone ever got control of it. We kind of let them off the hook early and we made plays at the end when we needed to.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
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