Storm beat Mystics 79-71 for fifth straight win

WASHINGTON — Sue Bird scored 25 points and Ann Wauters added 14 as the Seattle Storm completed a home-and-home sweep of the Washington Mystics with a 79-71 win on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.

The Storm (6-7) never trailed and held a 30-17 advantage at the free throw line in the opener of a four-game road swing. Seattle continues racing up the Western Conference standings after opening the season losing seven of eight games.

Crystal Langhorne led the Mystics (2-9) with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Washington, returning home following a winless road trip, has lost four straight and eight of nine overall. Monique Currie scored 15 points and Natasha Lacy 11 for the Mystics.

The Storm led by 14 points in the first half, though their edge was only 32-26 at halftime. With a second-half lineup featuring Langhorne and four reserves, the Mystics knocked down 7 of 10 shots opening the third quarter and tied the score at 36.

Seattle only made five 3-point field goals, but three came in the subsequent stretch. Wauters’ shot from beyond the arc put the Storm ahead 45-42 and sparked an 11-2 run.

The Storm’s lead didn’t dip below five points in the fourth quarter. Bird ended any hopes of a Mystics comeback with consecutive jump shots for a 70-62 lead. The Storm made 9 of 10 free throws inside the final 2 minutes.

The WNBA’s two lowest scoring teams played to form early on, scoring a combined 11 points over the opening 7 minutes before Seattle found its range late in the first quarter. The Storm pulled away with a 16-4 run bridging the first two quarters for a 26-12 lead.

Earlier in the day, the Storm waived forward Victoria Dunlap. Drafted in the first round by the Mystics last year, Dunlap was sent to Seattle in a trade in the offseason.

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