Lynx beat Storm 75-60, clinch tie for West title
The Storm are 0-3 against the Lynx this season and have lost eight of the last nine regular-season meetings between the two teams. Saturday’s loss makes it more likely that the Storm will face the Lynx in the first round of the playoffs.
“I really just feel like from the beginning we have to show some kind of resistance against them,” Storm guard Tanisha Wright said. “Our effort has to be a little bit better from the beginning and we’ll see what happens, because we haven’t done that in any of the games we’ve played (them) so far.”
The Lynx eliminated Seattle from the playoffs a year ago, beating the Storm 2-1 in the Western Conference semifinals.
Seattle trails Phoenix by two games for the third spot in the West with three games to play in the regular season. Phoenix has five games to play and the Storm own the tiebreaker against the Mercury for the third seed. The No. 3 seed would likely face Los Angeles, a team the Storm are 2-2 against this season, in the first round of the playoffs.
The Storm face Minnesota for a third consecutive game on Tuesday and then finish the regular season with two games against Tulsa. The Storm are 0-6 against those two teams this season.
The bright spot offensively for Seattle was Tanisha Wright, who after missing her first six shots, made six of her next nine and was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line and had a game-high 22 points.
“I was getting to the basket, but not really finishing, or focusing on finishing,” Wright said. “I was just really focusing on getting to the basket — and after you settle down a little bit, they start to fall.”
Saturday’s final score was the closest margin the Storm have had against the Lynx this season, which isn’t saying much.
“I don’t know if we really played the way we have to play to beat this team,” Storm head coach Brian Agler said. “That’s what our objective is, is to go out and find a way to beat them.”
The Storm were outscored by seven in the first quarter and eight in the third, but played Minnesota even in the second and fourth quarters. The Lynx had four players score in double figures, led by Rebekkah Brunson, who finished with 19 points.
Statistically, the Lynx didn’t outplay the Storm by a wide margin in any one area, except for assists. Minnesota finished with 19 assists, while the Storm managed just seven.
“I don’t like that we only had seven assists,” Agler said. “That tells me that we’ve got to do a better job of creating shots for our teammates. That’s something I’m sure we will see and talk about.”
The Storm also got very little bench production from the five reserves that played. Only two bench players scored: Noelle Quinn, who finished with eight points, and Ashley Robinson, who had one.
Aaron Lommers covers the Seattle Storm for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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