The Seattle Storm managed to cut a 14-point deficit to one with a little over two minutes remaining, but could not complete the comeback against the Atlanta Dream at Phillips Arena.
The Atlanta Dream forced three critical turnovers in the final 1:13 to defeat the Seattle Storm, 72-64. This is the Dream's first win of the season by more than three points.
"As we try to put our game together and be more consistent as a team, I thought that was probably our best effort as far as consistent play for 40 minutes," Atlanta Dream head coach Michael Cooper said. "This was a tough team we played. Two or three weeks ago that could've possibly been a loss for us."
Atlanta held a nine-point lead at halftime and grew the lead 14 more points by the end of the third. The Dream ended the quarter with a 17-9 run of their own to take their largest lead of the game.
The Storm began to cut into the lead, thanks to excellent shooting and were led by Sue Bird. Seattle made nine of its first 12 shots, which helped cut the Dream lead to one, 63-62 with 1:55 left in the game. Bird scored seven of her 11 points in the final quarter.
"I think overall as a team, we were Jekyll and Hyde; for the first three-quarters, just not as good and just really lacking energy," Bird said. "Then in the fourth quarter, we looked at the scoreboard and we were still in reach. I think we collectively were able to pick it up, go on a little run and make it interesting."
Angel McCoughtry answered the Storm run with a back-to-back and-one plays, to increase the Dream lead back to six with 1:15 remaining. McCoughtry scored seven of her game-high 23 points in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter. She also recorded four assists and three rebounds.
Seattle had their chances in the final minute of the game, but could not take care of the basketball. The Storm made three bad inbounds passes in the final 1:15, all coming after Seattle timeouts.
"We're going to look back at the film and see what we did wrong," Storm guard Jewell Loyd said. "But for us, we're still learning and growing and still developing as a team. You want to get better every game, so hopefully we'll figure out what's wrong and execute it."
The Storm turned the ball over two more times than the Dream, who entered the game leading the league in turnovers. Neither team found the range distance as both shot below 24 percent from behind the 3-point line.