Seattle overcomes 15-point deficit with big second half, but falls short in OT
SEATTLE – The Seattle Storm overcame a 15-point first half deficit and fought back to take a late lead, but Las Vegas rallied late to force overtime and pulled away in the extra session to take Game 3 of the best-of-five semifinals series 110-98 on Sunday afternoon at Climate Pledge Arena.
A franchise playoff record six Storm players scored in double-figures in the game led by Breanna Stewart’s 20 points. Stewart, who set a WNBA playoff record scoring 20+ points in her ninth-straight playoff game, also tied a career playoff-high with 15 rebounds and added six assists. She scored 16 of her points in the second half and overtime hitting 8-of-12 from the field over the final 25 minutes of the game.
Sue Bird and Jewell Loyd each added 17 points with Bird matching a playoff career-high with five three-pointers in the game including what looked to be the game-winner in regulation.
After a back-and-forth final five minutes, Seattle broke an 85-85 tie with a Stewart layup to make it 87-85 with 54.2 seconds to play. After a miss by Vegas on the other end, Loyd hit a pair of free throws with 11.3 seconds left to put the Storm up 89-85. But Vegas hit a three on its next trip down and Seattle missed two free throws with 7.2 seconds left, giving the Aces another chance. Vegas would take advantage of that chance, hitting a layup with 2.9 seconds left to put the Aces up 90-89.
It looked like Seattle had come through with a miracle ending as Bird drained a three-pointer from the corner with 1.9 seconds left to put the Storm up 92-90. But the Aces caught magic in a bottle, getting a layup with 0.2 seconds left to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Seattle struck first in the extra session but Vegas pulled away after that, using a 12-2 run to escape with the win.
After a rough shooting first half saw the Storm trail by as many as 15 midway through the second quarter, Seattle found its way to close out the period, outscoring the Aces 7-1 over the final 1:24 of the first half to make it a 48-40 game at the half. That momentum carried over into the second half with the Storm using an 11-0 run to go up 56-52 at the 3:41 mark of the third quarter.
Las Vegas would rally after that, using a quick seven-point run to take back the lead and took a 68-64 advantage into the fourth quarter. Down by six nearly two minutes into the fourth, Stephanie Talbot ignited the Storm with a three-pointer, drawing a foul on the shot and converting the free throw to make it a 70-68 game at the 8:18 mark. With just over four minutes left, Talbot again drained a three, this time tying the game at 78-78. But she wasn’t finished, hitting her third three-pointer of the period with 2:51 to go to put the Storm up three and setting up the wild finish.
Talbot finished with a career playoff-high 12 points—all coming in the fourth quarter, adding four rebounds and two assists. Tina Charles tallied 16 points and added five rebounds, four assists and a block on 6-of-11 shooting in the game. Ezi Magbegor came off the bench to tally a career playoff-high 10 points, hitting all four shots she took and adding three rebounds and two blocks.
The Storm look to even up the series on Tuesday, hosting Game 4 in the best-of-five series with Vegas at 7:00 p.m. at Climate Pledge Arena. The game can be seen on ESPN2.