With a playoff berth clinched, the Washington Mystics can stay focused on locking down the No. 1 spot in the WNBA.
The Mystics continue that quest by trying for a season-high sixth straight win overall Sunday, and 10th consecutive against the visiting Indiana Fever.
Ariel Atkins had 18 points and Emma Meesseman scored 17 as Washington (19-7) used a 13-4 run and 30-point fourth quarter to rally by host Minnesota 86-79 on Friday. The Mystics, who sit atop the "W" by one game over Connecticut and two ahead of Las Vegas, became the first team to clinch a spot in the postseason.
Star Elena Delle Donne and Aerial Powers each added 14 points and Natasha Cloud had 13 while becoming the team's all-time assists leader. One reason Washington leads the league is the depth of a roster that has five players averaging at least 10.7 points and two more with 9.0 or more.
"It shouldn't change, no matter when you start or you play, come out there and play hard and give what you have," Powers, who has averaged 16.0 points in the last four games, said via the Mystics' official Facebook page earlier this week.
Meesseman (12.5 points per game) is another Mystic who has been a heavy contributor of late, averaging 17.8 points in the last four games. That began with a 19-point effort in a 91-78 home victory over Indiana on Aug. 8.
Delle Donne (18.7 ppg) scored 22 as five Washington players were in double digits and Kristi Toliver dished out 11 assists. The Mystics scored 29 points in the third quarter and shot 53.6 percent to continue their regular-season dominance of the Fever (9-16), who last beat them on Sept. 11, 2016.
However, that was Indiana's lone defeat over the last four games.
The Fever were able to bounce back from that defeat with an 87-82 win over Atlanta last weekend. Erica Wheeler had 19 points with seven assists and Candice Dupree added 16 with nine rebounds as Indiana used a 27-point fourth quarter to overcome a nine-point second-half deficit.
It was the third straight home win of the Fever, who will now try to snap a three-game road slide.
"We have to find a way to build on (the home success) and use that momentum going into road games," Dupree told the Fever's official website.
Kelsey Mitchell (12.8 ppg) scored 18 and Dupree (11.6 ppg) 16 against Washington this month. Wheeler (12.0 ppg) was held to seven in that contest, but had 18 points in a 95-88 overtime home-loss to the Mystics on July 19.