WNBA

WNBA Finals 2019: Elena Delle Donne, Washington Mystics take 2-1 series lead with 13-point win over Connecticut Sun

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Delle Donne returned to propel the Mystics to a big win (NBAE/Getty Images)

After leaving Game 2 early with a back injury, 2019 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne proved just how valuable she is, even when not playing at 100%.

Fighting through a herniated disc, Delle Donne played in 26 minutes, finishing with 13 points (on 5-6 shooting) to go along with six rebounds to help lead the Washington Mystics to a 94-81 victory in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals. With a 2-1 lead in this best-of-5 series, the Mystics are now just one win away from the first title in franchise history.

While Delle Donne's presence and leadership were felt in many ways, it was the trio of Emma Meesseman, Kristi Tolliver and Natasha Cloud that handled the majority of the scoring duties.

Meeseeman had a big game off the bench, scoring a game-high 21 points (on 8-13 shooting) in 25 minutes, Tolliver, who is playing through various ailments as well, posted a 20-point, 10-assist double-double. Cloud, who finished with 19 points in the game, did so by shooting 5-for-10 from beyond the arc.

3-point shooting was the big difference in this one, as the Mystics shot 16-for-27 (59.3%) from beyond the arc while the Sun shot just 5-for-20 (25.0%). Washington's 16 triples tied a WNBA Finals record.

It was a pretty dominant performance from Washington, who never trailed after the 8:56 mark in the first quarter and led by as many as 18 points.

Connecticut was led by Shekinna Stricklen and Jasmine Thomas, who both scored 16 points apiece. Alyssa Thomas, who played in all 80 minutes of Games 1 and 2, again stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, nine assists and eight rebounds and only sat for the final 29 seconds of Game 3.

The two teams are back in action when Game 4 takes place on Tuesday, as the Sun will look to force a decisive Game 5, which would take place in Washington on Thursday.

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