- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 19, 2003

Chamique Holdsclaw is approaching the rest of this season with a simple philosophy.

“You can’t worry about the past, just the future,” she said.

The Washington Mystics star was not only referring to her team’s 11-game losing skid earlier this season but also to its current two-game win streak.

While the rest of her team celebrated in a jovial postgame locker room Thursday, Holdsclaw already was looking toward the upcoming two-game road trip that begins tonight at San Antonio.

She was pleased with her team’s wins at New York on Tuesday and against Charlotte on Thursday, but she knows it’ll take more than two victories to sneak back into contention.

“New York’s chalked up, throw it to the side,” Holdsclaw said. “[The] Charlotte game gave us confidence, but you got to let it go. Once we step on the court again, none of that will matter.”

After tonight, Washington (4-14) will head west for a rematch with Los Angeles on Tuesday. On July 9, the Mystics recorded their highest point total of the season in a fast-paced 97-91 loss to the two-time defending WNBA champion Sparks.

Even though it was Washington’s franchise record-tying 11th straight loss, it gave the Mystics enough of a mental boost heading into the All-Star break that has helped translate into back-to-back wins this week.

“We played with L.A. that whole game, and that was huge for us,” said guard Stacey Dales-Schuman, who had a career-high five 3-pointers against Charlotte.

Los Angeles improved its league-best record to 16-3 with an 80-77 double overtime victory over Phoenix on Tuesday, but clearly missed the presence of injured center Lisa Leslie.

Leslie, who averages 18.9 points and 10.1 rebounds, bruised her right knee in the July 12 All-Star Game and was placed on the injured reserve. She will sit out her third straight game tomorrow against Connecticut, but may return to face Washington.

With or without Leslie, it will be a formidable challenge for the Mystics to try and win at Staples Center for the first time in franchise history.

That makes winning tonight’s game at San Antonio imperative for Washington to avoid the possibility of a winless road swing.

The Silver Stars (6-13) are reeling and should provide the Mystics ample opportunity to go for their third straight victory. San Antonio fell to Sacramento 62-60 on Thursday for its third straight loss and sixth in its past seven games.

Plus, the Mystics beat the Silver Stars 79-72 on June 10, their last win until this week’s events helped change the spirits of the team.

“Now it’s time to just play some basketball,” Holdsclaw said, “and keep this thing going in the right direction.”

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