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WNBA: Tina Charles, Mystics tip off two-game set vs. Fever

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Tina Charles exacted some revenge against her former team while carrying the Washington Mystics to their first victory of the season.

Charles hopes that will provide a boost when the Mystics tip off a three-game road trip. The Mystics (1-2) will play back-to-back games against the winless Indiana Fever, beginning with a Sunday afternoon tilt.

Charles poured in 34 points against the New York Liberty in a 101-72 romp on Friday. Washington acquired Charles in a trade last spring, but the seven-time WNBA All-Star didn’t play last season due to COVID-19 concerns.

Coach Mike Thibault tried to channel Charles’ emotions in a positive direction.

“He was just like: ‘Calm down and let the game come to you. Play your game. Play your way.’ That’s just what I was doing (Friday),” she said. “A sense of urgency when you want to win a game — so you have that momentum and that energy and that confidence heading into the road.”

The Mystics also got a big boost from Ariel Atkins, who pumped in 25 points. Atkins and Charles combined for nine of Washington’s 16 3-pointers.

“When the game was invented, that was the whole premise: put the ball through the round thing,” Thibault said. “And when you don’t do it, it looks ugly. When you do it, it looks great.”

The Mystics are adding another major piece to their rotation on Sunday. Myisha Hines-Allen is expected to make her season debut after clearing protocols. Hines-Allen averaged 17 points and 8.9 rebounds last season.

The Fever have gotten off to an 0-4 start. They lost to Atlanta 83-79 on Friday.

“We’re kind of a work in progress,” coach Marianne Stanley said. “Nobody’s happy about losing, trust me. We’re a team with a lot of new faces, and they’re learning to play together.”

Indiana shot 46.3 percent from the field and held the Dream to 40 percent shooting. However, the Fever committed 11 more turnovers and collected five fewer offensive rebounds than their opponent.

–Field Level Media

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