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Mystics recover after blowing lead to beat Silver Stars

SAN ANTONIO -- Crystal Langhorne scored 14 points and the Washington Mystics recovered after blowing a 14-point lead to beat the San Antonio Silver Stars 83-73 on Friday night.

Ivory Latta had 12 points, Matee Ajavon added 11 and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored 10 for Washington (7-7), which has won three of four.

"Awesome win," Latta said. "It was a great team effort. Players off the bench came in and did what they were supposed to do. We believe in everybody, and thank God we got the job done."

Jia Perkins scored 22 points, Shenise Johnson added 15 and Danielle Adams 14 for San Antonio (4-9). The Silver Stars have lost four of five and eight of 10.

Already without Sophia Young (knee), San Antonio was playing its first home game since losing Becky Hammon for the season to a torn left ACL and it was apparent her scoring was missed.

"We are what we are," Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. "You know, we have not taken care of what we need to take care of, so it really has nothing to do with the errors, but with the consistency of this group. That is what this is really about."

The Mystics' bench outscored the Silver Stars' reserves 31-22, including 17-8 in the second half.

"Our starters did a terrible job to start the third quarter so I got them out," Washington coach Mike Thibault said. "And they can sit over there and watch and let our bench play -- and our bench was great tonight, just absolutely great."

Washington was 9 for 17 from the field and 7 for 9 on free throws in taking a 49-36 lead at the half.

After dominating the second quarter, the Mystics completely unraveled in the third despite the pleas of Thibault, the WNBA career leader in victories. Washington had eight turnovers in the quarter, enabling San Antonio to eliminate a 14-point deficit.

"What I got upset about in the third quarter is we started walking it up again," Thibault said. "You can't do that with a lead. Teams are too good in this league that they can get right back in the game. Leads evaporate quickly."

Perkins' layup with 2:19 left in the quarter capped a 15-2 run that gave San Antonio a 57-56 lead, its first since midway through the first quarter. Perkins, who had a pair of 3-pointers to spark the run, had 12 points in the period.

Washington attacked the paint continuously early, resulting in the team going 27 for 33 on free throws compared to just 10 of 13 for San Antonio.

"They do a lot of switching and we tried to make them pay for it," Thibault said. "Attack the post when they switched out. Everybody has a different style of defense; we just wanted to see if we could get them on their heels a little bit."