July 21, 2018 / 10:06 PM / 5 months ago

Delle Donne pours in 30 as Mystics topple Liberty

Power forward Elena Delle Donne, a six-time All-Star and the WNBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2015, scored 30 points as the Washington Mystics routed the New York Liberty 95-78 on Saturday afternoon.

2016 Rio Olympics - Basketball - Preliminary - Women's Preliminary Round Group B Canada v USA - Youth Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 12/08/2016. Elena Delle Donne (USA) of USA pauses during the game. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Delle Donne, who last month became the fastest WNBA player ever to reach 3,000 points, got off to a great start on Saturday. She made her first six shots, including three 3-pointers, to compile 15 points in a dominant first quarter.

Mystics guard Kristi Toliver, also named an All-Star this week, scored 19 points.

Washington, the only team in the league that has yet to make it to the WNBA Finals, broke a two-game losing streak and improved to 14-10. The Mystics are tied for fourth in the league standings, and the top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.

Tina Charles scored 22 points and added five assists and five rebounds for the Liberty (7-17), who have the second-worst record in the league.

Charles, who entered the game averaging 19.7 points, was named to her sixth All-Star team earlier this week. On Wednesday, she also became the second-leading scorer in franchise history.

However, the Liberty was without two key players who were out due to injuries: Shavonte Zellous (sprained right ankle) and Epiphanny Prince (right-eye contusion). Prince ranks fifth in the league with 45.0-percent accuracy on 3-pointers.

Washington was without Natasha Cloud due to a concussion. Cloud had 10 points and 10 assists the last time these teams met, an 86-67 Mystics win on July 8.

Early on Saturday, Washington led by as many as 12 points before settling for a 24-21 advantage after one quarter.

The Mystics extended their lead to 43-35 at halftime as Delle Donne had 19 points before the break.

Washington broke the game open shortly after that, taking a 75-53 lead after three quarters and cruising from there.

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