CHICAGO (AP) — Tina Charles had 31 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to help the Washington Mystics beat the Chicago Sky 79-71 on Sunday.

The Mystics (12-18) — who played without Elena Delle Donne (back), Ariel Atkins (personal reasons) and Myisha Hines-Allen (non-COVID illness) — have a one-game lead, with two games to play, over the Los Angeles Sparks and the New York Liberty for the final playoff spot.

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Charles scored 10 points and hit two of Washington’s five 3-pointers during a 21-1 run that gave the Mystics the lead for good. Chicago went scoreless over the last four minutes of the first quarter as the Mystics ripped off 15 consecutive points. After a defensive 3-seconds technical foul, Allie Quigley made a free throw to snap a scoring drought of nearly seven minutes but Charles and Leilani Mitchell made back-to-back 3s to cap the spurt and made it 30-15 with 7:08 left in the first half.

Chicago (15-15) needs to win one of its final two games to secure the No. 6 seed — and a first-round game at home — in the playoffs.

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Natasha Cloud had 16 points and eight assists and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 14 points and had a career-high six steals for Washington.

Azurá Stevens led the Sky with a season-high 18 points. Quigley added 15 points and Candace Parker had 12 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

Chicago made just 3 of 22 (13.6%) from 3-point range.

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