After scoring 207 total points in an overtime win for the Seattle Storm against the Dallas Wings both teams went from red hot to ice cold in their third matchup on Sunday in Everett.
In a game that saw another down to the last second win it was the Wings who’s own clutch player, Arike Ogunbowale, hit a shot to give Dallas the win in 68-67.
The closeness of just these games with the Wings shows how tough it is to win and keep winning in a league so full of talent.
“The margin of error in this league is just so small,” said guard Sue Bird. “The difference, when it’s all said and done the difference between whoever finishes at the top and whoever finishes at the bottom is not that great. The record might not look that way but when those two teams take the floor anybody can win any night. So I think it’s just the product of the league being that good and the parody being there. But obviously for us this moment we’ll go watch film and I’m sure that we’re going to be kicking ourselves a little bit and I’m sure Dallas was kicking themselves the other day.”
As the WNBA defending champion Storm (7-2) faced off for the third time against the Wings (3-5) just about everybody was ready for a potential third high scoring overtime game.
But it seemed that both teams may have worn themselves out after Friday night’s finale as the each had trouble finding the basket as shown by the score of 9-6 four minutes into the first quarter.
The teams had trouble finding the bottom of the basket as they found the score 9-6 with four minutes left in the first quarter.
By about the same time Friday the teams were tied 18-18 and by halftime the score was 42-39 with Dallas ahead.
At the half of this game the teams started to feel the ball again and the halftime score was 33-28.
Seattle had built a 10 point lead in the second quarter but as usual the Wings began to work their comeback and cut it to five as they headed into halftime.
The second half definitely saw a lift in scoring for the Storm as they started with a 6-0 run as Dallas head coach Vickie Johnson called a time out to regroup her young squad.
And the Wings responded working their shots while Seattle once again went cold. Dallas would tie the game with 7:42 left to play after the Storm’s Candice Dupree was ruled to have committed a flagrant foul on the Wings Isabelle Harrison.
The Storm had started the fourth going zero for six until an assist from Bird to forward Breanna Stewart with 5:36 to go saw Stewart convert it for a three.
Dallas’s Marina Mabrey got the steal and made a three before going down with a possible twisted ankle which Seattle took advantage with Talbot hitting a three of her own to put the Storm back in the lead at 62-58.
As time wound down it looked again like a possible overtime and definite down to the wire win but for who was the question.
That was answered when the woman whose name is just as synonomous with the term clutch as Seattle’s Jewell Loyd received the inbound pass.
Despite Storm guard Jordin Canada in her face the Wing’s Ogunbowale turned and shot from a few feet beyond the three point line to hit the go-ahead shot for a 68-67 Dallas lead.
Like Friday the Storm had one more opportunity to win and like Friday they had less than a second to do so with .07 left on the clock.
This time it was Stewart who found herself under the basket with a shot but couldn’t complete the task and the Wings finally walked off from a Seattle game with a win.
“We didn’t execute down the stretch,” said Stewart. “I think that’s the similar situation that seemed to happen in the last game. We just have these moments where we lose our minds a little bit. And we can’t let one play affect another. If we miss it then we need to kind of get a stop on defense or get a rebound. So yeah, it’s a tough loss. Obviously credit to Dallas ‘cause they’re better than what their record is but we had them.”
Though some may have wondered why Loyd, proven to hit clutch in the past, didn’t take the last shot the Storm guard had no trouble with who the ball went to.
“I mean, I think I was open.” said Loyd. “The play was for Stewie. So we got the shot that we wanted you know it just didn’t bounce in. We’ll live with that. I’ll live with the MVP taking the final shot.”
The team are now on a five game road trip which will be a test after having so many home games early in the season.
They start with a two-game stint against the Atlanta Dream starting at 4pm on Wednesday, June 7 with the second game scheduled for 5 pm on Friday, June 11 in Atlanta.
They’ll make a stop in Connecticut against the Sun on Sunday and then two against Indiana on Tuesday, June 15 and Thursday, June 17.