SEATTLE — In a back-and-forth duel between the Seattle Storm and Los Angeles Sparks until the final seconds, it was the Sparks who got the final word with a fourth-quarter comeback that sent the game into overtime, where they pulled ahead to win 77-75.
The win gave the Sparks their first win in four games and helped them avoid a regular season sweep by the Storm.
With the loss, the Storm fell to 15-6 but remained atop the WNBA standings.
“In the fourth, we had a hard time finishing,” said Storm coach Dan Hughes. “We just didn’t finish some plays. That’s typical for us. Overtime, it was a back and forth. It was a tough, hard-fought physical game, I thought.”
The Storm missed several opportunities in the dying seconds of overtime that would have tied the game.
The Sparks had the final shot of regulation, but Candace Parker’s fadeaway was no good. The Sparks pulled ahead by five in overtime, and though the Storm had possession and faced a two-point deficit with 17.2 seconds on the clock, they could not convert, giving Los Angeles the win.
“They made a run and they made tough shots,” said Storm forward Breanna Stewart.
The game featured eight ties and nine lead changes.
Facing a two-point deficit at half, Alysha Clark exploded in the third quarter with 12 points to pull the Storm ahead by as many as 12. But Parker and Chelsea Gray helped the Sparks climb back in the fourth quarter, and Alana Beard’s jumper tied the game with 1:15 to play.
Natasha Howard kept the Storm in the game with an eight-point first quarter, where the Storm committed 9 turnovers in that period alone. The Sparks scored two-thirds of their first quarter points off those Storm turnovers. The Storm cleaned up their act in the second quarter, committing five turnovers but not allowing any points off them.
The Sparks went ahead by 10 in the first minute of the second quarter before the Storm clawed back to keep the score a two-possession game for most of the rest of the half. Loyd’s layup and Bird’s three on back-to-back possessions brought the Storm within one as the half neared its close, and they ultimately faced two-point deficit at 36-34.
The Storm will be back in action at KeyArena this Saturday, when they face the Dallas Wings.
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