By Bridget Case
Seattle, WA — Coming off Saturday’s win, the Seattle Storm needed to serve KeyArena a victory over the Chicago Sky in order to prove that their winning mentality was no glitch, nor their secured spot in the playoffs. But Chicago’s trip to the Emerald City would bring the thunder.
The Sky ultimately beat the Storm 94-83, but their win was sandwiched by Seattle’s fierce first quarter efforts.
The 2017 All-Stars Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart opened the night leading an explosive offense to stomp on a suffering Chicago Sky squad 29-11. Bird had 10 points in the game and Steward finished with 25.
And after the first quarter, Seattle surely had this thing in the bag.
Not so fast.
By the second stanza, the Sky began to claw their way back. They cut the deficit to single digits as the teams headed into the locker room. Chicago outscored the Storm 30-13 in the stanza.
That loss of steam carried into the second half.
"It's impossible to have four quarters like the first," Bird said. "We all would love to do that every game, but that's not realistic. So we knew they were going to make a run."
Seattle trailed Chicago 53-50 with 4:38 left in the third period, and suddenly, it was anyone’s game. Through the strenuous few minutes, a tie ball game teetered back and forth. Allie Quigley exploded in the third quarter with 11 points to total her 25 on the night.
"We were just aggressive," Quigley said. "We just locked in, we had some mental mistakes in the first quarter. Then we started making shots."
Going into the fourth, Chicago lead 62-59. But Seattle held on. Sue Bird was back in attack mode as she nailed a three-pointer with a few minutes to tighten the trail, 68-64.
With less than a minute to go, the Storm and Sky exchanged trips to the line to keep Seattle in contention. But Quigley’s quick rebounds and point precision were what quieted the Storm.
"Any [win] on the road is huge, they're a great team," Quigley elaborated on the win. "At this point in the season, having a lot of losses, this is huge for us."
It wasn’t only Quigley who had a solid game for the Sky. Keisha Hampton’s 14 points off the bench solidified Chicago’s victory, as they kept Seattle from winning back-to-back games again by beating them by nine points. A double digit comeback ruled a shocker.
"They kept going up, and we kept going down, that's how it went the whole game," Stewart explained. "We gave them too many easy looks the first half, and the second half we had to claw our way back."
Seattle will now shift its focus to hosting the WNBA All-Star Game in this weekend. The Storm will return to the court Tuesday, July 25 against the Los Angeles Sparks at 7:30 pm PT. As for Chicago, its next game with be this Thursday on the road at Los Angeles. Tip-off is set for 2:30 pm CT