1st win streak puts Mystics on their toes

McCray's 26 help produce 2nd straight victory, 74-71

July 13, 1999|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON -- They don't teach the kind of pirouette Washington Mystics guard Nikki McCray did last night after her team's 74-71 WNBA win over the Charlotte Sting at any dance school.

Truth be told, McCray's impromptu victory dance wasn't one a lot of players can manage, since most haven't experienced the kind of misery the Mystics have over their 1 1/2 years of existence.

"We deserved to win this game. We needed to win this game. It's like you reward a dog with a treat when it does good. This was our reward," said McCray, who had a game-high 26 points, including three three-pointers.

The Mystics certainly earned their treat last night, holding off Charlotte down the stretch with clutch free-throw shooting and timely defense, after the Sting (5-8), playing its first game since coach and general manager Marynell Meadors was fired Sunday, shaved a 19-point second-half deficit to one in the closing seconds.

Charlotte's Stephanie McCarty hit a three-pointer with 6.6 seconds to go to cut the Washington lead to 72-71, but Chamique Holdsclaw, who had 22 points, hit two free throws with 6.1 seconds left.

McCarty, a rookie guard, took a three-point shot with less than a second to go, but Washington's Murriel Page, who pulled down 15 rebounds, blocked it as time ran out in a play that was disputed by the Charlotte bench.

"I thought she [McCarty] was going to step back and shoot. I just stuck my left hand out and I got all ball," Page said.

Last night's win, after Saturday's double-overtime victory against Detroit, gave the Mystics (5-9) their first winning streak in franchise history, albeit one of a modest two games.

More importantly, it placed them within a game of third-place Detroit, which currently holds the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Pub Date: 7/13/99

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