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Ajavon’s big game for Mystics goes by wayside
Against the New York Liberty on Saturday, Ajavon scored 32 points and reached 1,000 for her career in the Washington Mystics’ 91-81 win. But Tuesday night, against the Atlanta Dream, the Mystics fell 72-70 in the closing seconds despite Ajavon’s game-high 28 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter.
“She gave us some big baskets and her getting going really gave us that lead,” said Crystal Langhorne.
But the loss to Atlanta took the joy out of another stellar individual performance, one of many for Ajavon this season.
“It doesn’t matter to me if I play well and we lose,” Ajavon said Tuesday night.
The Mystics are 4-15 after winning the Eastern Conference last season at 22-12. They have been without injured starters Alana Beard and Monique Currie all season, and coach Trudi Lacey has said Beard’s season is over . But if there is a bright spot, it has to be the breakout play of Ajavon.
The 5-foot-8 shooting guard out of Rutgers is in her fourth season and averaging 16.3 points, ninth-best in the WNBA. Ajavon has provided a spark off the bench in previous seasons, but as a starter this year, she’s raised her game to a new level.
“When I wasn’t really playing, I was learning, so now that I have the opportunity to play, I’m just making the most of it,” Ajavon said.
After her career scoring milestone, Ajavon said “I feel it is a great accomplishment. I still have a ways to go.”
The improvement in Ajavon’s game is drawing notice in WNBA circles, and she’s a strong candidate for Most Improved Player. It’s an honor the Mystics know well - former guard Coco Miller won it in 2002, and Langhorne won it in 2009.
Former point guard Lindsey Harding, who was traded to Atlanta this past offseason, praised her former teammate Tuesday night.
“She gets my vote for it [WNBA Most improved Player] because she’s worked extremely hard and she deserves it.”
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About the Author
Carla Peay keeps you up to date on the Washington Wizards and the NBA.
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