Washington Mystics, after an 0-12 start, finally get first victory of the season with win over Dream

The Mystics beat the Dream 87-68 on Tuesday night in Georgia in what was their first win of the year

Finally, nearly a month after their season-opener, the Washington Mystics have won a game.

The Mystics, after losing a franchise-record 12 straight to start the season this summer, pushed ahead in the second half to beat the Atlanta Dream 87-68 at the Gateway Center in College Park, Georgia, on Tuesday night. It also ended their 14 game losing streak, which dated back to the end of last season and was the longest active streak in the league.

The Mystics came out hot and seemed well on their way to their first win in the opening quarter. They made seven 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes, which gave them a 10 point lead at the break.

Slowly, that pace died down. Washington managed only 13 points in the second quarter, and made just a single 3-pointer, before entering halftime with just a five point lead. That, however, was the closest the Dream got the rest of the way.

The Mystics shut Atlanta down to start the third quarter. They held the Dream to just two field goals through the first six minutes of the period and quickly took a double digit lead once again — which they easily rode to the 19-point win.

Brittney Sykes, who had missed the Mystics’ last 10 games with an ankle injury, led the way with 18 points in the win. She shot 7-of-12 from the field and made four 3-pointers, too. Ariel Atkins added 18 points and five assists, and Julie Vanloo finished with 11 points off the bench. The Mystics shot nearly 55% from the 3-point line, and they had 25 assists on 31 made shots as a team.

Rhyne Howard led the Dream with 16 points in the loss, which dropped them to 5-5 on the season. Tina Charles added 12 points and nine rebounds. They were the only two Dream players to hit double figures.

Washington’s losing streak was rough, but it wasn’t the worst to open a season in WNBA history. The Dream opened the 2008 campaign by losing their first 17 games. The Mystics lost nine of their first 12 games by single digits, too, and did so largely without Sykes and Shakira Austin.

"I’ll say we’re holding up pretty well, not that anyone’s happy about it,” Mystics coach Eric Thibault said after their loss to the New York Liberty on Sunday, via The Associated Press. “You never want to get to the point where you feel like you’re accepting it, and I don’t think we’ve done that. But we’ve come back with each game and battled. We don’t look like a discouraged team. We don’t look like a team that’s mailing it in.”

Though it will take a lot more than just a single win to turn Washington’s season around, the franchise is finally on the board.