WASHINGTON (AP) — Crystal Langhorne scored a career-high 27 points and had 14 rebounds to help the Washington Mystics beat the Los Angeles Sparks 68-53 Thursday night.
"She has a like a magnet inside of her, and there's one in the basketball," teammate Lindsey Harding said. "And anytime someone missed it just goes right in her hands. People say that she has a nose for the ball and she does."
Lindsay Harding added 16 points for Washington (8-4), which held an opponent under 60 points for the first time all season and won four in a row for the first time since 2006.
Kristi Toliver scored all 11 of her points and hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter to help Los Angeles (3-9) cut a 13-point halftime deficit to 51-45.
But Monique Currie hit two inside baskets to open the fourth for Washington and Harding made two foul shots and a breakaway layup in an 8-0 run to begin the fourth quarter and the Mystics led by double digits the rest of the way.
"At that time, I kind of want to be that missing link, whether it's a rebound, whether it's making that pass or doing whatever," Harding said. "And at the time I just figured I'd keep attacking and see if they could stop me."
Noelle Quinn added 10 points for the Sparks in their second game without leading scorer Candace Parker, who will have surgery to repair a dislocated left shoulder and miss the rest of the season. It was Los Angeles' lowest-scoring night of the season.
"If we can put together two wins, we could be fighting for second place," said DeLisha Milton-Jones of a Western Conference in which only one team is above .500. "That's what's crazy about this whole scenario."
Langhorne grabbed 10 rebounds before halftime and scored 12 of her 17 first-half points in a second quarter where the Mystics stretched their early lead to 17 before going into the half up 38-25.
She later made the first 3-pointer of her career from the top of the key inside the final minute.