Stewart helps Storm beat Mystics 82-77, clinch playoff berth

WASHINGTON (AP) — Breanna Stewart made four free throws in the last 12 seconds and finished with 18 points, Tina Charles had 16 points and tacked nine rebounds, and Seattle used a big second-half run to lead the Washington Mystics to 82 on Saturday : Beat 77 to secure a spot in the WNBA playoffs.

Seattle (19-11), who had lost three of their previous four games, took sole fourth place in the league standings – a game ahead of fifth-placed Mystics and 1 1/2 games behind No. 3 Connecticut with about two weeks left in the postseason . The Storm have won the first two games of their three-game regular-season series against Washington, which ends when the teams meet again on Sunday.

Epiphanny Prince notched two coast-to-coast steals on layups 18 seconds apart as the Storm scored the opening 13 points of the fourth quarter to cap a 16-0 spurt that made it 70-55 when Stefanie Talbot hit one 3-pointer with 6 scored :28 to play. Washington scored 14 of the next 18 points to reduce their deficit to five points with 2 minutes remaining after Ariel Atkins hit a 3 and Alysha Clark made another 3-pointer to move to a point within 26.3 seconds . After an accidental whistle from an official, Seattle called a timeout and Talbot threw away the inbound pass that followed, but Ezi Magbegor forced Washington’s Elena Delle Donne to put in a hard shot with 14.9 seconds left.

Stewart grabbed the offensive rebound and the storm continued.

Washington (18-12) had three straight games and won five of their last 6.

Delle Donne led the Mystics with 22 points and Atkins had 13. Shakira Austin added 10 points and 10 rebounds and Natasha Cloud had 10 points and 11 assists. Stewart helps Storm beat Mystics 82-77, clinch playoff berth

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