Seattle, WA -- The Seattle Storm hosted the tenacious Atlanta Dream, who hoped to reverse a three-game losing streak tonight. But, the Storm pushed the streak to four, just narrowly outscoring the Dream, 84-81.
"I didn't think our offense was great tonight," said Storm Head Coach Jenny Boucek. "Our defense is getting better, and now we need to work on finishing every play...rebounding is out next step of our evolution defensively."
The Storm started off the game with the power of a Category-5 hurricane. Breanna Stewart scored an incredible 20 points within the first half. And, she scored a career-high throughout the game with 38 points.
"I think continuing to be aggressive and having confidence in myself [improved my shooting]," said Stewart. "Being able to see myself in the gym, get shots up and feel good."
The Dream felt the absence of starters Sancho Lyttle and Tiffany Hayes, who were both out with hamstring injuries. The team countered the void with aggression; aggression that led to fouls.
The Storm's eight points from free throws in the first quarter helped propel the team ahead of the Dream. Atlanta only scored three points at the line in the first quarter.
Although the Storm is the league's worst rebounding team on offense and defense, that did not hinder the Storm's domination of the first half.
With only three rebounds in the first quarter, the Storm was able to keep an impressive 19-5 run to end the first half.
The Storm's intensity continued in the second quarter with 14 points from turnovers to end the half ahead by ten, breaking at 45-35.
The Dream came back from halftime ferocious and rejuvenated. Angel McCoughtry came alive for the Dream scoring 18 points throughout the first three-quarters.
"We played harder," McCoughtry said of the third quarter. "We didn't play hard in the first half."
Elizabeth Williams also added to the Dream's comeback scoring 21 points and narrowing the Storm's lead to one point: 60-61.
Atlanta continued the momentum into the fourth quarter keeping the score neck-and-neck.
"It was a hard-fought game and could've gone either way," said Dream guard McCoughtry. "[Breanna Stewart] made some good plays at the end. That's how they won - they executed."
The career-high 38 points from Stewart was just enough to push ahead of four dream players scoring double-digit points.
Even with 19-second chance points, the Dream could not keep up with the star Storm players, Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird.
The Storm hopes to continue its success this Friday against San Antonio. Atlanta hopes to bounce back against the top team in the WNBA, the Los Angeles Sparks.