Just when it seemed the Seattle Storm were getting it all right, it all went wrong.
The Storm fell on the road to the Minnesota Lynx 92-67 on Friday in a game that never really was competitive.
With the win, the Western Conference leading Lynx took the season series from the Storm for the first time since 2003.
“I think it’s just, for us, one of those nights,” Storm point guard Sue Bird said. “We did not play well at all. I think it was definitely a combination of what they were doing and just us playing poorly. You have to give it to them, they did a great job. They got rolling and they definitely had the momentum all game long.”
The Storm’s calling card this season has been their defense. On Friday night it was nonexistent. Seattle gave up 92 points and allowed the Lynx to shoot 56.3 percent from the floor.
“I was just really disappointed in our defense,” Storm head coach Brian Agler said. “I thought we were a much better defensive team than that, but I think Minnesota’s a heck of a team. They’re playing really well right now.”
Storm forward Swin Cash did her part in the first quarter to try and keep the game close, scoring 10 points in the period. But she finished the game with just 18.
“I think it was a lot of us,” Cash said. “I mean, give them credit. I think offensively they did whatever they wanted to do, but I think a lot of today’s game fell on us. Fortunately in the WNBA we have a game tomorrow so we can’t really sit back and think about it too much or analyze it.”
The Lynx had four players scored in double figures, led by Seimone Augustus and Candice Wiggins, each scoring 16. Rookie Maya Moore chipped in 12 and Taj McWilliams-Franklin added 10.
“It was one of those nights where everybody felt good,” Augustus said. “Everybody played well. We shot the ball exceptionally well. Kudos to us.”
The Storm continue to find out what the rest of the league is quickly finding out about the Lynx — this is a different team than a year ago.
“Compared to last year? They’re healthy,” Bird said. “That’s the bottom line. If you look at the last three or four years, you had Seimone get a serious injury, then they had Lindsay come to the team last year, Seimone was kind of halfway on her way back, Rebekkah Brunson came late, was injured as well. In the WNBA, health is the number one key. I mean, look at our team. That’s what I see. With that, they were able to add some high draft picks and really form a nice solid core group, if you want to call it that, and they’re able to build chemistry.”
The Storm do know about injuries, they continue to play without their most important player, Lauren Jackson, who is still recovering from hip surgery. While reports say she is ahead of schedule with her rehab, it is still unknown when or if she will return to the team this season.
“She’s shooting right now, and she’s doing some things like that, but she’s not practiced with us,” Agler said.
The Storm conclude their three-game road trip tonight at 5 p.m. in Tulsa when they face the Shock.