PREVIEW: Connecticut Sun
Aug. 27, 2019
HOW TO WATCH
Tuesday’s game at Alaska Airlines Arena against the Connecticut Sun is one of 20 live-streamed Twitter games this season. The matchup will also be locally telecast on JOEtv at 7 p.m. PT. Fans can follow live stats at stormbasketball.com or on Twitter by following @seattlestorm.
LAST TIME OUT
The Seattle Storm (14-13) looks to bounce back after a lackluster offensive performance against the Indiana Fever (10-19) at home on Sunday. Though Seattle’s defense held Indiana to 63 points, the defending champion mustered a season-low 54 points and shot under 30 percent from the field.
After taking the lead on a Kelsey Mitchell driving layup late in the first quarter, Indiana remained squarely in front of the Storm for the final 30 minutes, climbing to a game-high 13-point lead late in the third. Alysha Clark opened the second half with a 3-pointer to cut the Storm’s deficit to four, marking the closest that the Storm would come to completing a sweep of the Fever. After Russell scored at the 7:44 mark of the quarter, Seattle missed 10 consecutive field goal attempts until another Russell reserve layup with less than three left in the frame.
Crystal Langhorne contributed six points in the fourth quarter, including a driving layup to put Seattle within single digits of Indiana, but Candice Dupree and Erica Wheeler went 4-for-4 from the free throw line to seal Indiana’s first win over Seattle since 2017.
After losing both contests at Mohegan Sun Arena, Seattle seeks to avoid being swept for the first time since finishing 0-3 against the Connecticut Sun in 2017.
In both matchups this season, the Sun and Storm were separate by no more than five points entering the fourth quarter. On June 16, Shekinna Stricklen hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the third to break a tie heading into the final frame. Jolted awake, the Sun shot 11-of-18 (61.1 percent) from the field over the final 10 minutes and pulled ahead by double digits.
Meeting again on Aug. 16, the Storm held a seven-point advantage with under two minutes to play, but five turnovers and a pair of Stricklen free throws with 4.3 seconds sealed Seattle’s fate. The 2019 WNBA Three-Point Contest champion is averaging 20.0 points per game against the Storm this season, compared to an 8.1 mark against all other opponents.
Tuesday will mark Jordin Canada’s first outing against the Sun this season after missing the first two contests due to knee and shoulder injuries, respectively.
The Sun was knocked out of the top seed after suffering a 72-84 loss against the Los Angeles Sparks on the road on Sunday. Courtney Williams paced the team with 18 points and Jonquel Jones added 16 points and 12 rebounds for her 15th double-double of the season.
After scorching the Sparks for 26 points in the opening frame, Connecticut lost steam and was held to 26 points on 11-of-33 shooting in the two quarters that followed. The Sun came within single digits in the final frame as Courtney Williams went on a tear for 12 points. However, it was not enough as the Sparks pushed their lead to as many as 16 points with the help of Riquna Williams, who finished with a game-high 21 points.
The Connecticut loss snapped a four game win streak as the team moves to 20-9 on the season, and now trails the Washington Mystics by one game for the top seed in the playoffs.
The Storm will play its final regular-season home game at Alaska Airlines Arena on Sunday, Sept. 1 against the Atlanta Dream. Tip-off for Fan Appreciation Night is set for 4 p.m. PT.