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.
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