Storm rallies late but falls 87-78 at Phoenix

Five Storm players score in double-figures led by Ogwumike’s 15 points and 11 rebounds

Mark Moschetti, Seattle Storm

PHOENIX – The shots finally started falling during the fourth quarter for the Seattle Storm.

Not enough, however, to make up for those that didn’t fall through the first three quarters.

Nneka Ogwumike had a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds, but the Phoenix Mercury led all the way after scoring the first four points of the game and beat the Storm inside Footprint Center on Sunday afternoon, 87-78.

Ezi MagbegorSkylar Diggins-Smith, and Jewell Loyd tallied 14 apiece for the Storm (9-5). Magbegor also pulled down eight rebounds, and Diggins-Smith handed out eight assists. Jordan Horston tied her season high with 12 points and came up with a career-high five steals off the bench.

Seattle trailed by as many as 21 points during the third quarter, the last time at 66-45, but finished that period on a 6-0 run to make it 66-51 entering the fourth.

The Storm got back within single digits for the first time since early in the second quarter when a Magbegor lay-in off a feed from Horston cut the gap to 73-64. That was part of a 7-2 spurt, which Diggins-Smith capped with a 3-pointer from the left of the lane to make it a two-possession game at 75-69 and 3:16 still on the clock.

Phoenix (7-7) responded with a game-clinching 10-2 run for an 85-71 at the 1:27 mark.

Seattle climbed back in thanks to 61% shooting during that final quarter, draining 11-of-18. But up to that point, it had hit just 31.6% (18-of-57). The final mark was 38.2% (29-of-75), with 5-of-26 (19.2%) from behind the arc.

The Mercury, who wound up at 50% (31-of-62) came out with sharp shooting to start the game, as Kahleah Copper had 11 of her game-high 30 points during the first quarter to help produce a 25-12 lead. An 11-2 run by Seattle narrowed it to 27-23 early in the second before Phoenix put the next 13 straight points on the board for a 40-23 advantage.

Copper finished with 30 points, her fifth time this season with at least that many. Brittney Griner had 28, her second straight game of 25-plus. Diana Taurasi, who was on the winning side for the 300th time in her career, added 13.


— Magbegor had one blocked shot on Sunday as her team-record streak of 14 straight games with two or more came to an end. She still leads the league with 2.8 blocks per game and has at least one block in each game this season.

— The Storm committed just nine turnovers, their fourth game of the year in single digits. They forced the Mercury into 15, converting those into 14 points.

— Diggins-Smith got 10 of her 14 points during the fourth quarter to lead the comeback effort.


The Storm will wrap up a stretch of seven road games in their last nine with a return visit to Las Vegas on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. (Fox 13+ / Prime Video Washington / NBA TV). They played on the Aces’ home court on June 7, with Seattle pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 78-65 victory.

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