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Mystics survive Sparks, Parker for 3-OT win
Question of the Day
“We hung in there. We executed down the stretch,” said Latta, who finished 4 of 17 from the field, but went 2 of 3 in the overtimes. All four of her baskets were 3-pointers with the final one giving Washington an 86-84 lead with 1:11 remaining in the third overtime.
Candace Parker had 32 points and 12 rebounds for the Sparks (2-2), who had won five straight over Washington. Los Angeles held leads in the final seconds of the first two overtime periods, but could not finish off the Mystics.
“We had a lot of chances to close it out,” Parker said. “Regulation, the first overtime, the second overtime. You play with fire so much you’re going to get burned.”
After missing a potential winning jumper in regulation, Latta sank an off-balance 3-pointer for a 66-66 tie with 5.9 seconds remaining in the first overtime. She also tied it at 78 on two free throws with 5 seconds left in the second overtime.
“You’ve shot it that many times in your life, you should feel like the next time you shoot it, the next one’s going in,” Mystics coach Mike Thibault said of his point guard. “Some players get afraid, and she’s not afraid.”
“It’s not about how many (Latta) gets but when she gets them,” Sparks coach Carol Ross said. “Latta likes to take over the fourth quarter and in this case the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, the seventh.”
Parker’s stat line also included six assist and six steals. She also made 11 of 12 from the free throw line, but her lone miss came on the front end of two attempts with 11.5 seconds remaining in the first overtime. Parker made the second try for a 66-63 lead, but then Latta followed with what Parker called “a crazy 3.”
“I think (Thibault) has a lot of confidence in the two of us because he knows we know how to win (having) played at Connecticut,” said Dolson, who played over 40 minutes. “(I gained) a lot of trust in myself knowing that he trusted us and believed that we could win.”
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