Chicago weathers Storm 88-84

Seattle rallies late but falls just short, snapping eight-game home winning-streak

SEATTLE – The Seattle Storm never fell far out of it on Friday night – and they nearly climbed all the way back into it.

But they ultimately ran out of time – even with Ezi Magbegor’s defensive heroics.

Magbegor had a career-high eight blocked shots – two of those in the final 65 seconds of the game — to go along with 13 points, and Jordan Horston pumped in a season-high 20, but Chennedy Carter and Angel Reese combined for 60 points, leading the Chicago Sky to an 88-84 victory in Climate Pledge Arena.

The loss halted an overall four-game winning streak for Seattle (13-7) and a string of eight straight wins at home. The Storm’s only other home loss was to Minnesota in the season opener on May 14.

For the third in the first five games of Seattle’s current WNBA-record nine-game homestand, all five Storm starters scored in double figures. Along with Horston and Magbegor, Nneka Ogwumike added 16 points, Jewell Loyd had 13, and Skylar Diggins-Smith had 12 plus a season-high tying nine assists.

Carter went off for 33 points – just two shy of her career-high — getting 20 of those points during the second half. She hit 15 of 24 from the floor. Reese had a career-high 27 plus 10 rebounds for her 12th consecutive double-double, tying the WNBA record.

“It’s definitely not easy (defending Carter),” Ogwumike said. “I’ve played with Chennedy, and she really has a real talent. Being able to structure a system or schemes around her is tough.”

The Sky (7-11) appeared to have the game in hand when Carter drained a foul line jumper for an 84-75 lead with just 1:33 remaining.

But the Storm weren’t finished. Horston buried a 3-pointer from the right corner at the 1:23 mark to make it 84-78. Magbegor then blocked a shot by Carter, swatting it nearly out to midcourt – her seventh, thereby tying her career high. Diamond DeShields got the offensive rebound, but only had time to fling one up from just over the center line before the shot clock expired.

Seattle called a reset timeout to get the ball into frontcourt, and Magbegor laid it in off an assist from Ogwumike for 84-80 at 51.4 seconds. The Sky got two chances on their next possession, the second of which was a putback lay-up by Kamilla Cardoso that Magbegor blocked – her eighth. Diggins-Smith grabbed the rebound, fed it to Ogwumike, who got it to Magbegor for a running lay-up, cutting the margin to 84-82 with 20.9 seconds still to play.

A foul on Diggins-Smith sent Reese to the free throw line with 18.4 seconds remaining. She hit both for 86-82. Loyd was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 10.7 seconds left. She missed the first free throw, but hit the next two, bringing the Storm within 86-84. Forced to foul, they sent Reese back to the line at 9.7 seconds, and she hit both, returning it to a two-possession margin at 88-84.

Seattle wasn’t able to get another open look, as Magbegor’s 3-pointer fell short at the horn.

“We allowed a 30-point third quarter, and that’s something, playing a team like that, you just can’t do that,” Ogwumike said. “That’s tough. Right there toward the end, we were able to make our push, but the clock ran out.”

Twice during the first half, the Storm led by as many as eight points – 12-4 in the first quarter and 38-30 in the second. Both times, the Sky roared back, getting within 42-40 by halftime.

Chicago put together a 14-5 run in the third quarter, turning a 46-45 deficit into a 59-51 lead. That was part of a 30-point scoring outburst during that period, with 22 of those points coming in the paint.

Magbegor’s eight blocked shots made her the 12th player in WNBA history with eight or more in a game. She was the first to hit that mark since Elizabeth Williams, then with the Atlanta Dream in a game against Las Vegas, on Sept. 5, 2019. The only other Storm player with that many was Lauren Jackson on Aug. 11, 2002 against Utah.

“The guards do a great job of getting downhill, and something I like to do is just be there defensively for my teammates,” Magbegor said.

Added Ogwumike, “When Ezi takes those shots and just swats them – it’s always surprising, even though we know she’s capable of it. I’m just really glad to know we have her as the finisher, as the closer on the defensive end.”


— Along with her 13 points and eight blocks, Magbegor also had a team-high eight rebounds.

— Horston’s 20-point game was the second of her career. Her high is 23 last July 12 against Atlanta.

— Of the 172 points scored in Friday’s game, 96 were in the paint: 50 by Chicago, 46 by Seattle.

–The Sky out-rebounded Seattle, 37-27. Of those 37 boards, 14 were at the offensive end. Chicago leads the league, averaging 11.4 offensive boards per game. Even so, the Storm had a 16-11 edge in second-chance points.

— Horston got her 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field.

— Reese’s 27 points came on 8-of-13 shooting. That included 2 of 2 from behind the 3-point arc – her first two treys as a pro. Prior to Friday, she had taken just four shots from downtown.

— The Storm had their sixth straight game and 12th overall of 20-plus assists, finishing with 24. They are now 10-2 in games with 20-plus.


The second game of the two-game set against Chicago is Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in Climate Pledge (Fox 13, Prime Video Washington).

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