Storm scraps out a victory over Mystics to clinch a playoff berth, 82-77
Seattle, WA- Storm's defense put the clamps on Mystics in fourth quarter to escape with a victory.
Seeding is everything with the playoffs coming up and the Storm knew that coming into Washington they needed to pull out a win to keep the third seed. Both teams came in with a 18-11 record and would play each other in back to back games.
Things did not go well for the Storm in the first half. Leading scorer Breanna Stewart did not have a good half. Washington made it difficult for her to get to her spots on the floor and she had trouble knocking down shots. Stewart finished the half with seven points and two fouls. Jewell Loyd was the spark that the Storm needed late in the second quarter. She hit a couple of big shots to help her team dig themselves out of a nine point hole. With Loyd's help, Seattle found themselves tied with the Mystics at the end of the break, 35-35.
In the second half, Sue Bird could not find the bottom of the net, so she tried to get her teammates involved. Turnovers halted good production on the Storm 's sidelined, as Washington gained six points off of turnovers in the third quarter. Despite shooting the ball around 42%, Seattle walked into the fourth quarter wit a two point lead, 57-55. Something clicked with the second unit, at the start of the fourth. They went on a 8-0 run to push their lead to eight and forced Washington to call a timeout. Within three minutes of that timeout, Seattle jumped all over the Mystics and extended their lead to 15 midway in the quarter.
Seattle found their offensive switch. Each time,Washington tried to cut the Storms deficit, the Storm would hit a shot. The Storm did just enough to hold off Washington's late comeback.
Tina Thompson finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds
Stewart finished with 18 points.