Storm Suffers First Hiccup At Home With 69-67 Loss to Mercury

SEATTLE – The Seattle Storm shook off a slow ultimately fell for first time at home in a 69-67 loss to the Phoenix Mercury. Sami Whitcomb netted a season-high 13 points and was one of four Storm starters with double-digit points. DeWanna Bonner and Brittany Griner combined 40 points on 50.0 percent shooting to lead Phoenix past Seattle.

While both offenses struggled to connect, the Storm was held scoreless for nearly five minutes in the first quarter until Mercedes Russell ended the Storm’s 0-for-7 shooting drought with a midrange jumper. After trailing by as many as 13 points early in the second quarter, the Storm was able to pull within one of the Mercury at halftime behind 15 combined points from the starting backcourt of Sami Whitcomb and Jordin Canada.

After she was held to six points in the first half, Griner poured in eight points in the third quarter as Phoenix and Seattle traded blows in the paint. Crystal Langhorne nailed a cutting layup under the basket with 3.4 seconds on the clock to make it a one-possession game heading into the fourth.

After the Storm regained the lead in the fourth quarter on a pair of Langhorne free throws, both teams went on brief runs. The Mercury compiled a 10-0 stretch to which Seattle answered with seven straight points.

With 31.1 seconds on the clock, Whitcomb drilled a three-pointer to put the Storm within three of the Mercury. Canada was fouled from behind the arc with 1.2 seconds to play, sending her to the line for three. After missing her first, Canada sank the second and intentionally bounced the third in a last-ditch effort to tie the game. After an official review of Phoenix’s rebound, the game was ruled finished.

KEY STATS OF THE GAME

  • DeWanna Bonner and Brittney Griner combined for 40 points on 16-of-32 shooting (50.0 pct). The rest of the Mercury combined for 29 points and shot 30.6 percent from the field.
  • After starting the season 5-0 at home, the Storm suffered its first loss at either of its temporary home venues. The team’s 5-0 record was tied for the third-best home start in franchise history (also 5-0 in 2009). Entering the night, Seattle’s last regular-season home loss came in overtime on July 10, 2018 vs. the Los Angeles Sparks.

SEATTLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Making her second start, Sami Whitcomb netted a season-high 13 points in her second career start, hitting a jumper with 7:58 left in the game to push her to double-digits for the third time since the start of the 2018 season. She also added five assists and tied a career-best with six rebounds.
  • Twenty of Seattle’s 27 field goals were assisted (74.1 pct), the third time this season that Seattle has tallied at least 20 dimes.
  • With the loss, the Storm falls to 6-3 in games that included a “clutch” situation (defined as last five minutes of the game in which the two teams are separated by five points or less). Last season, Seattle only played 12 “clutch” games out of 34, going 8-4.
  • The Storm got to the free throw line a season-low nine times, making six attempts from the charity stripe.

PHOENIX HIGHLIGHTS

  • With a win this evening, the Mercury extended its winning streak to three games, the second-best current winning streak in the league (Washington with five).
  • The Mercury moved to 4-0 on the season when leading at the end of the third quarter. Phoenix is now 38-1 over the last three seasons when taking the lead into the final quarter of play.
  • DeWanna Bonner knocked down a personal season-high four three-pointers tonight en route to 20 points. Bonner continues to lead the league in scoring this season. After finishing the night four-of-four from the line, Bonner is now an impressive 46-of-48 (95.8 percent) from the charity stripe this season.
  • Brittney Griner scored 20 points on 10-of-14 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and four blocks this evening. After scoring 23 points against Indiana on Friday night, this marks Griner’s first back-to-back 20-point performances this season.
  • Sophie Cunningham led the Mercury bench in scoring for a second consecutive game with seven points in 15 minutes.
  • The Mercury gave up only six turnovers on the night, the lowest that Seattle has faced this season.

 

NEXT GAME

The Storm continues its home stand at Alaska Airlines Arena on Wednesday, July 3 against the New York Liberty. Tip-off for Kids Day presented by Alaska Airlines is set for 12 p.m. PT.