Losing campaign winding down for Mystics

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Losing campaign winding down for Mystics

During Michelle Snow's previous nine WNBA seasons, which followed a highly successful run at the University of Tennessee and winning a state championship in high school, she never experienced a losing campaign.Before entering the pro ranks this year as a rookie, Natalie Novosel was one of the headliners for a Notre Dame program that finished the 2011-12 season as National runner-ups.Just two seasons ago, second-leading scorer Monique Currie helped guide the Washington Mystics to the Eastern Conference title and a second straight playoff appearance.Those were the days - and nothing like what trio and the rest of the Mystics have endured in 2012. Well, except for Currie and the handful of others who have now suffered through a second straight trying season. With two games remaining, including the home finale Friday night against Indiana, Washington (5-27) needs to a win to match last season's total of six. Should they lose both, the Mystics will finish the season with a 13-game losing streak, and the second worst record in franchise history."It's hard to believe that just two seasons ago we won the Eastern Conference regular season," said Currie, who returned to a full-time role this season after missing nearly all of 2011 with a knee injury. Once again the DC area native is the team's second-leading scorer (11.8), but in a completely different and bummer of a scenario."This season especially has been one of the most difficult for myself. You have to take the highs with the lows. Nothing comes easily. It's a learning experience - just something I'd rather not experience again."For Snow, a 10-year veteran who signed with the Mystics as a free agent this past offseason, the barrage of defeats has been all about "life lessons.""First losing season, you see things from a totally different perspective," said the 6-foot-5 center. "You realize how hard it is to overcome some of the mental battles. You find yourself constantly trying to keep your confidence and keep your head in the right place so you can be productive and contribute to your team...It's depressing; it's hard to deal with."Crystal Langhorne, the Mystics leader in scoring, rebounding, and field goal percentage will miss the final two games with a left foot strain after sitting out Sunday's loss to New York. Washington closes out the regular season Saturday at Chicago.Washington is the only WNBA team averaging fewer than 70 points per game (69.3), ranking near the bottom in field goal and 3-point shooting. Since the returning from the Olympic break in mid-August, the Mystics have won just one game in 13 attempts with many of the losses coming in double figure fashion, twice by the Fever. The team's last victory came more than a month ago - August 19 at the Verizon Center against Chicago."I think that's been one of the toughest adjustments, the losing," said Novosel, who lost all of four games during her senior season at Notre Dame. "Getting into my mind that this isn't how the WNBA is, we're not supposed to have losing season and not to get used to that."The losing hasn't stopped, but the recent effort has improved; in its previous game, Washington led by nine points in the fourth quarter on Sunday before falling 75-68 to New York. "The greatest lesson you can have is to hold your integrity around what you're doing, always keep a positive attitude, continue to improve, continue to work," Mystics coach and general manager Trudi Lacey said. "That's exactly what we've done."While the Liberty remain in the postseason hunt, the Mystics lost that Dream for good during the current skid."It's been a difficult road all season, that's obvious," Currie said. "What hasn't changed for us is we continue to work hard although we continue to work hard, though we're kind of just playing just to finish the season because we don't have any postseason chances."Chances against the Fever (20-12), losers of three straight, perhaps hinge on whether the Mystics can conjure up memories of their 67-66 win over Indiana back on June 15. Beats thinking about the past 11 games.

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By the numbers: Wizards' streak of scoring 100+ points snapped by Jazz

By the numbers: Wizards' streak of scoring 100+ points snapped by Jazz

The Wizards' streak of scoring 100 points or more was snapped on Sunday night, fittingly by a Utah Jazz team that holds opponents to less points than anyone in the NBA. They are a great defense and they won out in this matchup against the Wizards' high-powered scoring attack.

Bradley Beal was held scoreless in the first half. The Wizards as a team were limited to 92 points and only twice this year have they scored less.

The streak is now over at 23 games. It was an impressive feat, so here are some numbers to put it in perspective...

--The 23-game streak was just the 14th-longest in Wizards/Bullets franchise history, but it was their longest since the 1988-89 season when they won 26 straight. The longest 100-point streak franchise history, at 48 games, was accomplished by the Baltimore Bullets in 1965. 

--Long 100-point streaks were quite rare for a while until just recently. The Wizards' streak is the 10th-best since the start of the 1992-93 season. No team reached 23 games from 1993 until 2008, a span of 15 years. Of the top 10 since 1992-93, five of them occurred this season, which is kind of amazing. In addition to the Wizards, the Celtics, Spurs, Warriors and Rockets have done it this year. The Rockets' streak is active at 46 games, double that of the Wizards. 

--The streak is not all that common in NBA history, in that the Wizards' 23-game streak is tied for 216th all-time. The longest 100-point streak ever is 136 games, held by the Denver Nuggets. That streak began in January of 1981 and ended in December of 1982. The Rockets' 46-game streak is only 43rd all-time.

--The Wizards' 23-game streak is the longest in Scott Brooks' career as a head coach. His 2014-15 Oklahoma City Thunder got to 22 games. All the teams Brooks coached with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and others, and none of them matched what the Wizards accomplished.

--Washington's streak is longer than the best in franchise history for six different teams: the Grizzlies (9), Heat (16), Hornets (20), Pelicans (8), Raptors (20) and Timberwolves (11).

[RELATED: Wizards complain of lack of free throws after loss to Jazz]

Tyler Cavanaugh sparks George Washington to 3rd straight win

Tyler Cavanaugh sparks George Washington to 3rd straight win

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tyler Cavanaugh scored 22 points and sparked a breakaway run in the second half as George Washington defeated George Mason 83-74 on Sunday to pull even with the Patriots in the Atlantic 10 standings.

Cavanaugh has scored 19 or better in the Colonials' last three games, all wins, and has topped 20 points a dozen times this season. Sunday, the senior made 8 of 17 shots, grabbed seven rebounds and had three assists. With the lead at 57-54 and 8:19 to play, Cavanaugh drove for a score that started a 15-9 run over the next 3-1/2 minutes that gave the Colonials some breathing room in a game that saw 10 ties and nine lead changes.

The win lifts George Washington (16-13, 8-8) into a three-way tie for sixth place in the A-10, and owns the tie-breaker over both George Mason (18-11, 8-8) and La Salle.

Marquise Moore led George Mason with 20 points and six assists. Yuta Watanabe scored a season-high 18 and Jaren Sina 16 for George Washington, which had a season-low five turnovers against 17 assists.

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