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Storm stay hot with win over Mystics

Seattle strong on both ends of the court in fourth-straight win

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SEATTLE -- There are games where everything seems to just click. The Seattle Storm had one of those games on Sunday with a 72-55 victory over the Washington Mystics.
The margin of victory might not have been the most impressive, but the way in which the Storm got there was nothing short of stellar. The Storm were very efficient on offense, shooting 56.3 percent from the field, and may have been even better on the defensive end, holding the Mystics to 34.9 percent shooting.
The feeling in the locker room after the game was that the Storm can get even better.
"There is never a perfect game, so we just keep working," guard Katie Smith said. "There is a lot of tweaking, but nothing major. It's just going into each game understanding what you need to get done and making it happen."
Point guard Sue Bird didn't hesitate when asked if the Storm, who have now won four consecutive games, are playing their best basketball.
"No," she said. "I think we are playing better, but I think there is still more to go. We still have some lapses here and there, some mix-ups. That's going to happen probably throughout the season. The more we can minimize those the better."
Seattle did a good job of minimizing mistakes on Sunday. The only glaring weakness they had was getting outrebounded on the offensive glass 13-2.
"That's an area we are going to have to get better at," Storm head coach Brian Agler said. "If it is 13-2 again, it's not going to play well for us on Tuesday.
The Storm travel to Washington D.C. today to face the Mystics again on Tuesday. The two teams will be traveling to the nation's capital on the same flight.
As the Storm have been able to do in recent games, they exhibited very balanced scoring against Washington. All nine players that dressed for the game scored. Bird and center Ann Wauters led the way scoring 14 points apiece. Smith, forward Camille Little and forward Tina Thompson each had nine and guard Tanisha Wright added seven.
"I think on offense we executed pretty well," Wauters said. "We got some very good open looks and we knocked them down. We found each other on some high-low actions and pick-and-rolls when they switched we found the mismatches. I think we were really focused on the game and we executed pretty well."
After Wauters scored the game's opening basket, the Mystics went on a 7-0 run that forced Agler to call a timeout. The Storm responded with a 13-2 run of their own and took control of the game.
"It (the timeout) wasn't necessarily about x's and o's things," Agler said. "It was more about competing harder and being more aggressive offensively and not making it so easy for them offensively. So I think we responded pretty good."
Mystics center Ashley Robinson, who was traded from the Storm to Washington for Victoria Dunlap in the offseason, entered the game in the second quarter to a standing ovation. Robinson saw limited time and scored two points.
Forward Crystal Langhorne led the Mystics with 21 points, but the team scored just 55, their lowest output of the season.
The Mystics also shot a season-low 34.9 percent. It was the Storm's third consecutive opponent that has been held to a season-low in shooting.
"I think we did a really good job on defense," Wauters said. "We were active and we pushed them to make some hard shots and 24 (second) violations. I think if we are active like that on defense that always helps to get going in our offense and also to be aggressive."
Aaron Lommers covers the Seattle Storm for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at alommers@heraldnet.com.

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