The Seattle Storm (12-3) returned home after a 16-day, five-game road trip which saw them sweep the trip, returning home seemed like the opportune time for them to continue their momentum against the Washington Mystics (7-6).
Instead, the team struggled. Being down 15 points during the first half, the team would eventually go on a 21-6 run to take the lead midway through the third quarter.
Both teams went back-and-forth, and the Storm seemed to be making progress towards a sixth-consecutive win by extending their lead to five with seven minutes left.
It all seemed well for the defending champions until MVP candidate Tina Charles checked back in and led the Mystics to an 8-0 run with less than two minutes left.
Charles was spectacular finishing with 34 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. She’s the first player in league history with a 30-point, 15-rebound, 5-assist, 5-3PM game.
The Mystics would go on to win 87-83. Their key to victory was their ability to hit the three-point shot. They went 16-for-38 from behind the line, compared to the Storm’s 8-for-19.
Seattle’s lack of three-point defense on that night was an aberration. Washington shot 42.1%, but on the season Seattle has the second-best three-point defense with opponents on average shooting 29.3%.
Coming back from a long road trip, the Storm competed.
Their big three of Breanna Stewart (17 points, 8 rebounds), Jewell Loyd (23 points, 9 assists), and Sue Bird (7 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) came to play putting up numbers around near their averages.
The next game for the Storm will be on Sunday against the second-best team in the league, the Aces (10-3), who are riding a five-game winning streak.