Defending champion Mystics keep playoff hopes alive

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Myisha Hines-Allen had 26 points, nine rebounds and four assists, Tianna Hawkins made four straight free throws in the final eight seconds and the defending WNBA champion Washington Mystics beat the Minnesota Lynx 89-86 on Tuesday night to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Washington (6-13), which has won two of its last three following a five-game losing streak, is one-game behind the Dallas Wings for the final playoff spot with three games to play.

Ariel Atkins gave Washington a 85-78 lead with 2:06 remaining, but Minnesota scored the next six points before Hawkins sealed it at the free-throw line.

Emma Meesseman and Atkins each scored 18 points for Washington. Leilani Mitchell had 10 assists and Hawkins finished with 14 points in 17 minutes.

Hines-Allen scored 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first quarter to help Washington take a 24-20 lead. She narrowly missed her sixth double-double in the last nine games.

Napheesa Collier had 21 points and 11 rebounds and rookie Crystal Dangerfield added 20 points and seven assists for Minnesota (13-7). Odyssey Sims scored 17 points and Damiris Dantas had 14.

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