Atkins scores 22, Mystics spoil Parker’s return, rout Sparks
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ariel Atkins hit five 3-pointerss and scored 22 points Tuesday night to lead the Washington Mystics to an 81-52 win over Los Angeles, spoiling the return of former MVP Candace Parker to the Sparks’ lineup.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had a career-high 17 points off the bench for the Mystics (5-3), who snapped a two-game losing streak in the first game of a four-game road trip. Kristi Toliver added 12 points and nine assists. Elena Delle Donne only made 4 of 12 shots and scored nine points for Washington but grabbed 15 rebounds.
Parker had three points on 1-of-9 shooting in 25 minutes after missing the first seven games because of a hamstring injury. Sydney Wiese and Nneka Ogwumike had 12 points apiece for the Sparks (4-4).
Parker played the first 7:43 and went 0-4 before checking out of the game with her team behind 20-3.
Atkins opened the game with a 3-pointer and after Chiney Ogwumike made a basket for the Sparks to make it 3-2, the Mystics reeled off 10-straight points. Neka Ogwumike made a free throw for Los Angeles at the 5:56 mark the Washington scored seven more and it was 20-3.
Washington led 24-10 after one quarter and 48-27 at the half, turning 14 L.A. turnovers into 23 points.
The Mystics finished 13 of 28 behind the arc while Los Angeles was 3 of 19 and had 26 turnovers. LaToya Sanders had a career-high six of Washington’s 20 steals.