Mystics edge Dream, snap losing streak

WASHINGTON -- Matee Ajavon scored 11 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter to help the Washington Mystics to an 85-81 victory over the Atlanta Dream on Thursday night.

Crystal Langhorne had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Jasmine Thomas scored 12 points as Washington (6-24) snapped a nine-game losing skid. Monique Currie, making her season debut after recovering form a torn left ACL while playing in Turkey in the offseason, finished with eight points and three rebounds in 9½ minutes.

"She's (always) on the bench, giving us insight on what she can see from the bench," Thomas said of Currie, who averaged 14.1 points per game with Washington last season. "So to have her actually go in the game and provide that information and put it into play, it was important."

Angel McCoughtry scored 30 points for Atlanta (16-14), which snapped its three-game win streak. The Dream, two wins from clinching a playoff spot with four to play, dropped one game behind third-place New York in the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta hosts Washington at home on Friday night.

"We have been taking steps forward," McCoughtry said. "This is just a little bump, and tomorrow we've got them again."

After trailing by 10 points early in the third quarter, Ajavon helped the Mystics slowly pull away in the fourth. She hit a baseline jumper, a pair of foul shots and then a 17-foot jumper before Currie's foul shots sealed an 8-2 spurt that gave Washington an 81-74 lead.

Then, after Atlanta closed to 81-79 on two free throws by McCoughtry, Ajavon made a contested 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 1:20 to play.

"I just, you know, was aggressive and I took what they gave me," Ajavon said.

Langhorne did much of her damage in the third, scoring 10 points in an 18-4 run that gave the Mystics a 64-60 lead. But McCoughtry countered with a pair of free throws and a fading jumper to tie it at 64-all as the third quarter ended.

Currie entered to a standing ovation with 2:05 left in the first quarter and shot 2 for 4 from the field and 4 for 4 on free throws.