for this game

Mystics-Sun Preview

Jul 26, 2010 - 4:55 PM By PAUL DIGIACOMO STATS Senior Editor

Washington (13-8) at Connecticut (12-10), 7:30 p.m. EDT

With less than a month remaining in the season and the Eastern Conference up for grabs, the Washington Mystics and Connecticut Sun have failed to make up ground in the race.

One of those teams will come away with a much-needed victory when the Sun host the Mystics on Tuesday night.

Washington (13-8) is in third place in the East, 1 1/2 games behind leader Indiana, while Connecticut (12-10) sits in the fourth and final playoff position but leads New York and Chicago by one game.

All six teams in the conference are separated by four games.

Connecticut and Washington haven't done much recently to distance themselves from those other clubs, with the Sun dropping five of seven this month and the Mystics losing three of their last four.

Washington had a chance to take over sole possession of first place Saturday but lost 78-73 at home to the Fever.

Katie Smith scored 17 points to lead the Mystics, who finished with 20 turnovers. Crystal Langhorne had 15 points and 13 rebounds, Monique Currie added 14 points and Lindsey Harding had 10.

"You hate to lose your home games," Smith said. "With a team like (Indiana), you'd like to be able to hold home court."

Washington did that against Connecticut on May 30, getting 17 points and a career high-tying 16 rebounds from Langhorne in a 69-65 win. The Sun posted an 80-65 home victory over the Mystics a week earlier.

Connecticut, though, has not played that well on the defensive end this month.

The Sun lost 89-80 to Los Angeles at home Saturday, the fifth time this month they've allowed an opponent to score at least 79 points. Teams accomplished that feat just six times against Connecticut in its first 15 games.

The Sparks set a franchise record with 15 3-pointers and finished 30 for 66 from the field Saturday. Reserve guard Renee Montgomery led the Sun with 14 points and Tan White added 13.

"They were just knocking their shots down," White said. "When you are playing against a team shooting (52) percent from the 3-point line, it's hard to get momentum."

Connecticut may not have that problem in this game, as Washington is among the worst 3-point shooting teams in the WNBA at 34.1 percent. The Mystics have shot even worse in the first two meetings, going 5 for 20 from beyond the arc.

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