WASHINGTON -- — Kayla McBride scored a season-high 24 points and Tiffany Mitchell put back her own miss with 3.0 seconds left to help the Minnesota Lynx beat the Washington Mystics 80-78 Saturday night and avoided tying the franchise record for consecutive losses to open a season.
Minnesota (1-6) lost seven straight to open the 2007 season.
Mitchell took an inbounds pass on the right side and had a driving layup attempt blocked by Brittney Sykes but grabbed the offensive rebound and made the go-ahead layup.
Elena Delle Donne made a layup and, after Washington's defense forced a shot-clock violation, Shakira Austin scored inside to make it 71-all with 3:18 to play. Jessica Shepard answered with six consecutive points as the Mystics missed six consecutive field-goal attempts before a short basket by Ariel Atkins trimmed their deficit to 77-75. Napheesa Collier made 1 of 2 from the free-throw line with 15 seconds to go and Sykes hit a 3-pointer to tie it 78-all with 7.4 remaining.
Collier finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and three steals and Mitchell added 10 points and seven rebounds for Minnesota. Shepard had 10 points, including six in the final three minutes, to go with six rebounds and six assists.
Atkins finished with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and Austin had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Washington (3-3). Natasha Cloud added 14 points with nine assists and Delle Donne scored 12 points.
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