Sky 83

(3-15, 1-8 away)

Mystics 89

(10-10, 8-2 home)

    4:00 PM ET, July 9, 2006

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 28 10 25 2083
    WSH 25 21 21 2289

    Top Performers

    Chicago: A. Lassiter 17 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Washington: N. Sanford 25 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Stl

    Mystics team up to see light with win over falling Sky 

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nakia Sanford and Chasity Melvin were too much for the Chicago Sky.

    Sanford scored a career-high 25 points, Melvin added 20 points and 10 rebounds and the Washington Mystics snapped a two-game losing streak by beating the Sky 89-83 Sunday.

    "We've been together three years now, so it wasn't any surprise to me," Melvin said of the duo's performance. "Everybody keeps forgetting that we started together two years ago, and we were unstoppable."

    Sanford, who entered the game averaging 8.4 points, scored 11 in the third quarter. The Mystics needed every one against a Chicago team that closed within two four times in the second half, and three times in the third period.

    Melvin scored the final four points of the game, including two free throws with 9 seconds left. It was a promising sign for a tandem again starting together, in part because DeLisha Milton-Jones may be out for the rest of the regular season with a left MCL sprain.

    "I haven't seen these numbers before," Mystics coach Richie Adubato said. "We had 45 points between (Sanford and Melvin). That means we really moved the ball around, found people on the inside. They were able to power up and score a lot around the basket."

    And Adubato knows what Sanford's secret was.

    "Layups -- that's how she got all her points," Adubato said. "I could've had that many if I had layups like that."

    Bernadette Ngoyisa led five Sky players in double figures with 17 points, including 13 in the second half. But she fouled out with 50 seconds to play, and Sanford got her last point on an ensuing free throw to make it 85-79.

    Amanda Lassiter added 17 points for Chicago and Chelsea Newton scored a career-high 15. Jia Perkins and Candice Dupree each scored 12 points for the Sky, who failed in their attempt to win consecutive games for the first time.

    "The weakside help, that was where we had a problem," Chicago coach Dave Cowens said. "Normally, it's been pretty good. But tonight, that's what fell down."

    Crystal Robinson scored 14 points for Washington. Alana Beard, in her second game back from a right ankle sprain, added 10 points a day after being announced as a reserve for the Eastern Conference in Wednesday's All-Star game.

    Nikki McCray, the second-leading scorer in Mystics' history, was honored at halftime. A tearful McCray, who announced her retirement on June 28, thanked the fans she played in front of from 1998-2001. McCray played 11 games for the Sky this year.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Chicago Washington
    Points 83 89
    FG Made-Attempted 29-59 (.000) 32-59 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 8-16 (.500) 4-12 (.333)
    FT Made-Attempted 17-22 (.000) 21-33 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-28 9-29
    Assists 17 20
    Turnovers 12 8
    Steals 4 7
    Blocks 2 4
    Fast Break Points 4 12
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 18 (0/0)