Storm Drops Heartbreaker in OT to Sparks, 77-75

By Wyatt Yearout

The Seattle Storm dropped its first game in nearly two weeks, falling to the Los Angeles Sparks 77-75 in overtime in a Tuesday afternoon matinee at KeyArena.

Natasha Howard posted 18 points and had a season-high five blocks. Breanna Stewart recorded her second straight double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Candace Parker led the way on the day for the Sparks with 21 points and 10 assists.

DEFINING MOMENTS
After being down two at half, the Storm was able to claim the lead within the first two minutes of the third period, and later went on 8-0 run to extend the advantage to 12 points at 56-44 with 2:47 left in the third. Los Angeles knocked down a couple big shots to close out the quarter but Seattle had an answer nearly time and took a 60-50 lead entering the fourth.

Los Angeles outscored Seattle 10-2 in the first five minutes of the fourth to trim the Seattle lead to just two points at 62-60. The Storm and Sparks traded buckets from that point until Los Angeles tied the game at 66 with 1:15 remaining.

The Sparks gained possession with 17.9 seconds left and held for the final shot. Parker’s attempt with a little over one second remaining was off, sending the game to overtime.

Los Angeles knocked down a couple big shots down the stretch of overtime to take a five-point lead at 77-72 with just over a minute remaining. Seattle managed to cut the lead to two in the final minute and had a chance to tie at the buzzer, but couldn’t covert, eventually falling by two.

HUGHES’ TAKE
Head coach Dan Hughes felt the game really came down to the fourth period and the Storm’s inability to finish some plays.

“You know, we were able to separate in the third, but then we were unable to finish plays (in the fourth). It’s one of those days where I thought defensively we were okay, I think it was a matter of us taking care of the ball and finishing some of the opportunities we had.”

NOTES

    • Stewart, the WNBA’s top scorer who came into the day averaging 22.4 PPG, earned her fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 boards.
    • Howard scored in double figures for the 16th time in 2018, recording a team-high 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting. She also had a season-high five blocks (previous high was four, three times).
    • Sue Bird scored in double figures for the 11th time this season and third in a row, finishing with 13 points to go along with eight assists.
      With three three-pointers today, Bird moved two three-pointers away from passing Becky Hammon (829) for third all-time in WNBA history for three-pointers made.
    • Alysha Clark scored 12 points, all of which came in the third quarter. She tallied 12 of Seattle’s first 14 points in the frame on the way to helping the Storm build a 48-42 lead with 5:15 remaining.
    • Sami Whitcomb came off the bench to hit her first two free throws of the season and finished with four points in five minutes.

    UP NEXT
    Seattle has a few days off before it returns to action on July 14, hosting the Dallas Wings. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m./PT.