The Seattle Storm earned their second win of the season, both coming against the Tulsa Shock, on Friday night with an 86-73 victory.
With the win, the Storm improve to 2-7 on the season and end a four-game losing streak, while the Shock fall to 0-9.
While it is true that the Storm’s only wins have come against a team that has no wins on the season, Seattle showed signs of life on Friday that it hasn’t for some time.
Perhaps the most welcome sign was the play of Sue Bird. Bird’s last offensively productive game came against Tulsa in the Storm’s other win when she finished with 27 points. In the Storm’s other seven games this season she had been largely unproductive.
On Friday she returned to form, scoring 21 points and making nine of her 12 field-goal attempts.
“We came in here needing a win, I know Tulsa needs wins also, but we are a team that’s been on the road and haven’t had any success so tonight we were focused,” she said. “For us it always starts with defense, getting out in transiton that is always going to be a good thing for us. Tonight our team played very well together offensively. “
Seattle used a late surge in the second quarter capped off by a Katie Smith halfcourt shot to beat the halftime buzzer and continued that run into the second half to take control of the game.
“I don’t know if we made any changes, we just played consistently,” Storm head coach Brian Agler said. “We shot the ball from the three-point line early and Sue, whenever we needed the big shot she seemed to handle it. The Shock are really aggressive defensively so we countered that by spacing the floor and reversing the basketball. I thought we did a good job with that.”
The Storm also had multiple players score in double figures, something that has been lacking on this road trip. Katie Smith finished with 17 points, Tina Thompson had 16 and rookie Shekinna Stricklen chipped in 12 points.
Jennifer Lacy led the Shock with 16.
The Storm return to KeyArena on Sunday night to face the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx. The game will pose quite the challenge for the Storm. At 10-0 the Lynx are off to the best start in the history of the WNBA.