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Christmas in June as Dallas snaps 6-game losing streak

The Dallas Wings and the Seattle Storm both came into the game needing a win to move up in the standings. Even though the Storm had a stellar performance from Breanna Steweart, it would not be enough to stop Karima Christmas, Odyssey Sims and the Wings.

Photo by Layne Murdoch

Arlington, TX -- Two teams that could both use a win took the court Thursday evening in Arlington. At 3-7, a desperate Dallas Wings team looked to snap a six-game losing skid.

On the other side, a 4-7 Seattle Storm team coming off a loss against San Antonio also strived to get back to winning ways. It was the Wings who came out on top 88-79 in the teams first meeting of the season.

The Wings got off to a fast start, both in points and pace of game. After Breanna Stewart won the opening tip-off for all-but-one time this season, Dallas got out to an early 13-4 lead. Three of those 13 points for the Wings were thanks to an Odyssey Sims three-pointer, which tied her season total from last season.

The tempo stayed high for a majority of the first quarter, but petty fouls on both sides slowed it down at times.

"Seattle is a team that reverses the ball a lot and makes you play defense, which they did," said Coach Fred Williams in reference to the tempo of the game. "We just wanted to open up the floor and try to get some of those fast break buckets or at least get some opportunities at the basket early."

After the Storm narrowed their deficit to five thanks to points off several Dallas turnovers, Aerial Powers entered the game for the Wings and immediately forced a Seattle turnover and drained a three. However, Stewart answered right back with a three for the Storm. Both teams shot over 50% from the field in the quarter.

Dallas took a 25-21 lead into the second quarter, after leading by as many as 10. Stewart led the way for Seattle with 9 points, while Karima Christmas and Plenette Pierson each had five for the Wings.

Back-and-forth action was the story of the second quarter. Skylar Diggins came up big in the quarter for Dallas while Stewart had another big quarter for the Storm. Diggins finished with four and Stewart finished with eight.

The Wings called, and early timeout after Seattle scored the first five points of the quarter, narrowing their deficit to one. After trading baskets for the majority of the quarter, the deficit hung out at one until they took the lead for the first time 33-32 thanks to a layup from Stewart. However, Dallas answered right back with another three from Sims.

Questionable calls continued in the second drawing several eruptions from the home crowd. Fouls forced Christmas to the bench late in the quarter after she picked up her third. Plenette Pierson was already benched earlier in the quarter due to foul trouble of her own.

The Storm headed into halftime with a 38-36 lead behind Stewart's 17 first-half points. Diggins and Christmas both finished the half with seven for the Wings.

Alysha Clark got Seattle on the board first in the second-half scoring her first points of the game with a layup. But the back-and-forth basketball played in the first half continued to the second.

Pierson scored an and-one layup to give Dallas the lead for the first time in almost 10 minutes of play.

Tied at 46 with 6:58 remaining in the third, it was a brand new ball game. That is until the Wings went on a 6-0 run to take the lead 55-49 and forced Seattle to take a timeout to try to stop the momentum. Dallas dominated the floor in the third quarter shooting a whopping 73.3%.

The Storm's efforts to calm Dallas' momentum were unsuccessful. The Wings took a 67-57 lead into the final quarter; led by seven big points late in the quarter from Powers, who came off the bench and seven from Christmas as well. Crystal Langhorne made up for Stewart's quiet quarter with eight points for Seattle.

Dallas continued to extend their lead in the fourth. The Storm kept it within reach and attempted to chip away at their deficit, but the Wings always responded.

Christmas and Sims finished with 17 points for the Wings. Dallas also had Powers with 13 points off the bench and Paris with a double-double scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 boards.

Stewart finished with a massive 29 points and had some thoughts on why she thought the Wings offense worked tonight: "They had help from all over the place. It wasn't just one player. They seemed to be scoring, rebounding, doing everything across the board."

Seattle finished with three others finished in double digits. However, it was not enough to overcome the Wings high-powered performance.

Dallas snapped their six-game losing streak to beat Seattle 88-79. The post-game smiles on the Wings player's faces said it all.

"It was important. We kind of felt it in New York. We came out strong, and we wanted to build on that. We came in here to protect home-court, and we finally got this win," said Wings leading scorer Karima Christmas.

Dallas looks to keep their winning momentum going as they head to Phoenix to take on the Mercury on Saturday. The Storm will try to end their two-game slump as they head home to face the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday.