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Former Washington Mystics player Coco Miller makes triumphant return to Verizon Center

Coco Miller made a triumphant return to the place she called home for eight years. Miller, a first-round pick by the Washington Mystics in 2001, was waived by the team on May 11, 2009. She signed with the Atlanta Dream four days later.

Inserted in the starting lineup on Wednesday for the first time all season, Miller scored 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting against her former team, leading Atlanta to a 95-90 victory over Washington in the first game of the Eastern Conference semifinals. She missed tying her career high by two points.

"I wasn't surprised that Coco was making her shots tonight," said Miller's former teammate, Mystics forward Chasity Melvin. "Not that she has anything against Washington, but she played here, she gave a lot of hard work, a lot of hard effort here. A player still feels that when they come back. They kind of still want to prove like, 'You let me go; this is what I can do.' She has hit a lot of big shots when she plays here for the past two years."

Atlanta Coach Marynell Meadors, a former Mystics assistant coach who worked with Miller in Washington, said she started Miller on Wednesday night because the starting lineup she had used against Washington on Sunday "was not working."

"I've got to give Coco credit for sitting there the first part of the season," Meadors said. "She didn't get a lot of minutes, but she hung in there and she continued to work hard, and now she's reaping the benefits."

Miller received a warm round of applause from the Mystics fans when she was introduced before the game.

"I enjoyed my time here and there was great fan support," Miller said. "It's a little strange to come back here and play."

Although Miller was part of three playoff teams in Washington, she also played on teams that weren't very competitive.

"I was here when we were kind of struggling in the beginning," she said. "It's great to see how far they've gotten, but it's kind of nice to come back here and of course get a win. I'm in Atlanta a now and in a good place. I'm happy to be a part of this team."

By Kathy Orton  |  August 25, 2010; 11:07 PM ET
Categories:  WNBA playoffs  
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Next: Mystics morning recap

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