Kristi Toliver provided 20 points and 10 assists to lead the Washington Mystics to a 94-81 win over the Connecticut Sun in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals on Sunday night, earning her team a 2-1 series lead.
Game 3 leaders
- Points: Emma Meesseman - 21
- Assists: Kristi Toliver - 10
- Rebounds: Aerial Powers - 8
- Points: J Thomas/Stricklen - 16
- Assists: Alyssa Thomas - 9
- Rebounds: Jonquel Jones - 9
Mystics lead series 2-1
Elena Delle Donne put forth a gutsy effort, playing through a back injury, to help the Mystics move within a victory of winning the franchise's first title.
The league's MVP has a herniated disk that is pinching a nerve in her back and was questionable to play in Game 3. She finished with 13 points, hitting five of her six shots and played 26 minutes.
''I just want to be a leader for this team. I love them. I did nothing, I was just on the court, they carried me and they've done that all season long,'' Delle Donne said. ''I love them to death. We have one more to go.''
She was clearly limited in her movement and stayed mostly on the perimeter, but was effective enough to command the attention of Connecticut's defense.
''It was tough. This is tough. This is not something I expected,'' Delle Donne said of the injury. ''It is what it is. You're dealt the cards and you have to go out and play.''
Delle Donne provided an emotional lift for her team and Emma Meesseman and Kristi Toliver carried the offense. Meesseman had 21 points, including nine to start the fourth quarter, and Toliver added 20 points and 10 assists.
Follow Sky Sports NBA on Twitter
See the best NBA and WNBA plays and stay up to date with the latest news
Washington will try and close out the series in the early hours of Wednesday morning, live on Sky Sports.
Delle Donne hit an early three-pointer and the Mystics made six of their nine shots from behind the arc in the first quarter to take a 32-17 lead after 10 minutes.
Washington, who shot 16-for-27 on three-pointers, led by as many as 17 points in the first half. It was 37-23 before the Sun went on a 16-4 run and Washington led 43-39 at the break.
Jonquel Jones converted a three-point play to open the third quarter cut the lead to one, but that was as close as Connecticut would get.
Get NBA and WNBA news on your phone
Want the latest NBA and WNBA news, features and highlights on your phone? Find out more
They trailed by two when Delle Donne hit a triple from the left wing to make it 58-53. The Mystics took a 68-57 lead into the fourth quarter and stretched that to 18 before a final run by the Sun that Delle Donne ended with a tough lay-up.
Shekinna Stricklen and Jasmine Thomas each had 16 points for the Sun. Jones, who scored 32 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in Connecticut's Game 2 win, scored just nine points to go with her nine boards.
Watch Game 4 of the WNBA Finals live on Sky Sports in the early hours of Wednesday morning at 1am.