Mystics top Aces in earthquake-delayed game
Elena Delle Donne and the Mystics made their short trip to Las Vegas pay off Monday night, completing the second half of a game suspended by an earthquake with a 99-70 win over the Aces.
The original game was suspended with Washington leading 51-36 after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Southern California just before halftime, with the effects felt as far away as Las Vegas and Mexico. After talking it over, WNBA officials suspended the game out of an abundance of caution. NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas also were postponed that night.
The Mystics played in Phoenix on Sunday and got blown out by the Mercury 103-82.
Washington flew to Las Vegas on Sunday night and treated Monday night's game like any other game on their schedule. The Aces had their morning shootaround, and both teams got their normal warmup 90 minutes before the game.
Delle Donne scored 21 points for the Mystics (15-7), who maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half. Kelsey Plum had 17 for the Aces.
Kristi Toliver finished with 14 points and eight assists for the Mystics.
It was a win like none other in WNBA history for the Mystics. The game started again with a second rendition of ''The Star-Spangled Banner,'' even though it was technically halftime when things were getting started. Starting lineups got introduced again, too, though the Aces were different since Liz Cambage was out for rest and A'ja Wilson was missing from the Vegas lineup with an ankle injury. She was still an official player in the game as she had nine points and five rebounds in the first half. Cambage officially finished with 12 points from the first half of the game.
The Mystics had the services of forward Emma Meesseman, who was playing for Belgium in preparation for the EuroBasket Tournament when the original game tipped off on July 5. And two of the three referees from the original game, Eric Brewton and Fatou Cissoko-Stephens, were back for the second half. The third from the original contest, Tiara Cruise, was replaced Monday by Cheryl Flores.
And all this was happening in the T-Mobile Arena, not the Aces' usual home at the Mandalay Bay Events Center - which was unavailable for the resumption Monday.
July 5 was the first time a WNBA game was suspended mid-game. The NBA's G League had a game suspended this past season when a leak in the roof in Erie, Pennsylvania, stopped play early in the fourth quarter of the BayHawks' game against the Long Island Nets. The teams finished that before a regularly scheduled game between the teams at Nassau Coliseum a month later.
This wasn't the first time a Mystics-Aces matchup went awry: Las Vegas ultimately forfeited a game in Washington last year, after the team decided to not play citing health and safety concerns following a 26-hour trip to the game caused in large part by flight delays and cancellations.