Seattle Finishes Regular Season 16-18; First-Round Game to be Played Wednesday
SEATTLE – In the final game of the 2016 regular season, the Seattle Storm earned an 88-75 victory over the Chicago Sky on Sunday at KeyArena. Seattle finished the regular season 16-18, including a 10-7 record at home that featured victories in each of the last five games at KeyArena.
The Storm is 7-3 since the Olympic break, and the campaign will continue on Wednesday in the first round of the playoffs. Seattle, the No. 7 seed, will face the sixth-seeded Atlanta Dream at 5 p.m. PT on ESPNews in a single-elimination situation.
It was just a two-point game heading into the fourth quarter on Sunday, but the Storm went on a huge run and led by as many as 22 down the stretch. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 10 of her season-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, finishing the night with four three-pointers off the bench. Ramu Tokashiki, another reserve, led the way with nine points in the first half and finished with 14.
Seattle’s Breanna Stewart had game highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds, recording her 12th double-double of the season. Stewart set a number of records in her rookie year, including the all-time mark for defensive rebounds in a season (277). Veteran point guard Sue Bird had 14 points and five assists on Sunday, finishing the season at a career-high 44.4 percent from three-point range. Bird also led the WNBA in assists (5.8 per game).
Chicago was without reigning MVP Elena Delle Donne, who had thumb surgery last week. In addition, guards Cappie Pondexter and Courtney Vandersloot did not see action.
After the Storm opened up a 9-4 lead, Chicago went on an 8-0 run that made it a close contest midway through the first quarter. The teams went back and forth the rest of the quarter, with Tokashiki scoring five points to give Seattle a spark off the bench. The Storm had five turnovers in the opening frame, and the contest was tied at 18 heading into the second.
Three-pointers by Mosqueda-Lewis and Alysha Clark helped Seattle build an advantage early in the second frame, but Chicago once again came from behind to take the lead after struggling to open the quarter. Tokashiki continued to contribute, and Bird knocked down a shot from long distance in the final seconds of the half to make it 39-34 heading into the break.
Seattle scored the first eight points of the second half, six of which came from the foul line. The Storm’s edge was increased to as many as 14 in the third quarter, but Chicago chipped away at the lead and closed the frame with a 7-0 run to pull within two.
The Storm started the fourth quarter on a 16-2 spurt, including four three-pointers, two of which were made by Mosqueda-Lewis. Chicago made a late push, but it wasn’t enough to complete a comeback.