The Washington Mystics have a high-powered offense led by Elena Delle Donne, but they are sowing themselves to have more scoring options beyond their superstar.
Looking to extend their winning streak to four games, the Mystics host the winless Dallas Wings on Sunday.
Delle Donne, who helped the Mystics (3-1) reach the WNBA Finals last year despite being slowed by an injury, leads the team in scoring and rebounding. But her 14.3 points per game reflects the scoring balance coach Mike Thibault has been trying to create as Washington has six players averaging in double figures.
Delle Donne was one of five players in double figures in Washington's 94-85 victory over New York on Friday night with 13 points, but it was Natasha Cloud who stepped up and finished with a career-high 26 points. The Mystics shot 7 of 17 from 3-point range and also amassed a 27-10 edge in free throws while missing just once at the foul line.
''That's the biggest thing we've tried to accomplish this offseason,'' Thibault told The Associated Press regarding developing other scorers. ''Not allow teams to help off people. I felt some times last year we were playing four against five offensively because we didn't have consistency on the floor.''
Washington is also looking to stay unbeaten at its new home, the Entertainment and Sports Arena. The Mystics have won their first two games there by a combined 39 points while averaging 99.5.
After opening a rebuilding season with two losses by a combined seven points, Dallas (0-3) took a step back with its 79-64 defeat at Indiana on Friday night. Isabelle Harrison scored 18 points as she snapped out of an early season offensive funk, but the Wings - sporting almost an entirely overturned starting lineup from their first two games - were unable to overcome a poor-shooting first quarter in which they shot 3 of 14 and trailed by 10.
Coach Brian Agler opted for four new starters around forward Glory Johnson as Allisha Gray, Kayla Thornton, Brooke McCarty Williams and Theresa Plaisance were all in the first five. Arike Ogunbowale, the No. 5 pick in the draft, did not take to coming off the bench as well as Harrison and finished with six points on 2-of-14 shooting.
Washington won the final two games between the teams last year, including a 93-80 victory in the nation's capital in the most recent matchup as Delle Donne scored 23 points. The Wings fired coach Fred Williams after that game, which was also their eighth consecutive defeat.