May 20, 2018 / 8:57 PM / in 5 months

WNBA: Toliver helps Mystics halt Fever

Kristi Toliver scored 16 points, Elena Delle Donne had 13 points and seven assists as the Washington Mystics opened the 2018 WNBA season with an 82-75 home win over the Indiana Fever on Sunday afternoon.

File photo: 2016 Rio Olympics - Elena Delle Donne (USA) of USA looks up after receiving her gold medal along with her teammates during the presentation ceremony for the women's basketball top finishers. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Washington (1-0) only shot 41.8 percent from the field, but sank 11 of 25 3-pointers and 15 of 16 free throws in the win. Toliver finished 4 of 6 from beyond the arc.

Natalie Achonwa led the Fever (0-2) with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Kelsey Mitchell, the No. 2 overall pick in last month’s WNBA Draft, had 16 points in her second game. Indiana went 5-of-15 on 3-pointers and shot 43.8 percent from the field. The rebuilding Fever is coming off a dismal 9-25 season.

The Mystics led 38-30 at halftime and extended the margin to 15 in the third quarter at 55-40. Indiana inched closer and trailed 79-73 with 1:25 remaining, but would not get any closer. Toliver’s 3-pointer on Washington’s next possession increased the lead to nine with 68 seconds left.

Candice Dupree had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Fever. Indiana outrebounded Washington 39-27.

Monique Currie and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt each had 11 points for Washington, which finished 18-16 last season and reached the WNBA semifinals where it was swept 3-0 by the eventual champion Minnesota Lynx.

The Mystics enter this campaign without former All-Star Emma Meesseman. Washington’s second-leading scorer in 2017 decided to remain overseas with a primary focus on the Belgium national team.

Her absence allows Delle Donne to shift back to her natural power forward slot.

Currie, who played with Washington from 2008-2014, re-signed with the Mystics this offseason to bolster the frontcourt.

—Field Level Media

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