While the Washington Mystics continue their quest for the overall No. 1 seed in the WNBA playoffs, Dallas Wings star Arike Ogunbowale looks to further secure her case to be the league's rookie of year.
The Mystics aim for a third straight win while trying to contain Ogunbowale when they visit the Wings on Saturday night.
Washington (22-8) is currently in the mix with Connecticut for the top seed in the league, and both clubs seem in good position to claim the coveted top-two places - and a bye into the semifinals - in the regular-season standings. The Mystics (22-8) have lost just twice over their last 15 games, and rode 11 3-pointers to a 95-66 home win over Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Aerial Powers (11.5 points per game) went 6 of 11 from the field to finish with 20 points and Natasha Cloud hit three 3s to score 15 as Washington never looked back following a 33-point first quarter. The Mystics, who took 35 shots from beyond the arc, are second in the "W" while shooting 36.2 percent from distance.
While times are good at the moment in Washington, the club is far from satisfied.
"Even though we're doing well right now, (we know) we have even more steps to take to move forward. And we can get even better … that's a really fun thing to think about," guard Ariel Atkins said via the Mystics' official Facebook page.
Washington, which beat Dallas 86-62 at home in June, will face the Wings (10-20) twice over its final four games of the regular season. Ogunbowale failed to score while playing just six minutes off the bench in that contest for Dallas.
She might not even sit a minute Saturday while trying to extend her WNBA rookie record for consecutive games with at least 20 points to eight after matching a career high with 35 in Thursday's 88-83 victory at playoff-bound Chicago.
Ogunbowale (17.7 ppg), who appears in a battle with Minnesota's Napheesa Collier in the rookie of the year race, has averaged 26.4 points over the last seven games, and gone 23 of 52 from the field in the last two. She scored eight fourth-quarter points on Thursday to help Dallas snap a three-game losing streak and win for just the second time on the road in 2019.
The Wings, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention with Phoenix's victory over Atlanta on Thursday, can finish 6-5 in August with a victory Sunday.