- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 11, 2009

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) | Alana Beard scored 15 points, Crystal Langhorne added 14 and the Washington Mystics improved to 3-0 for the first time in franchise history with a 75-69 victory over the Detroit Shock on Wednesday night.

Rookie Marissa Coleman added 13 points to help Washington end a six-game losing streak against the defending WNBA champion Shock (1-2).

“It’s the first time I’ve ever beaten Detroit,” Langhorne said. “I know they are missing some players, but they are still the champs, so this is a big win.”

Taj McWilliams and Katie Smith had 14 points each for Detroit.

The Mystics finished the first half with a 23-4 run to take a 38-27 lead. The Shock regained the lead late in the third, but Washington scored the final seven points of the period to go up 56-51.

Smith’s long 3-pointer pulled Detroit to 71-69 with 42 seconds left, but Lindsey Harding answered with a 3-pointer to put the game away.

“They gambled and left Lindsey open because she hadn’t been hitting her shots,” Washington coach Julie Plank said. “She came through when we needed one.”

The Shock were missing three key post players - Cheryl Ford (knee), Plenette Pierson (shoulder) and Kara Braxton (suspension) - and signed Kelly Schumacher on Wednesday in order to have nine healthy players.

“It’s hard to play with what we have, and teams are going to take advantage of that,” Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer said. “We don’t have the players we need to be the greatest team, but we can still win if we play smart. We have to realize that.”

LYNX 87, SPARKS 76: Seimone Augustus scored 30 points to help Minnesota beat Los Angeles at home.

Candice Wiggins added 17 points for Minnesota.

Former Lynx player Betty Lennox led the Sparks with 25 points.

The Sparks had a five-point lead late in the third quarter, but Minnesota used a 16-3 run to take a 66-58 lead with 10 minutes to play.

Sparks star center Lisa Leslie fouled out with less than a minute to play in the third. She finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.

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