Wings hold on to beat Storm and end losing streak

Storm guard Sue Bird and Wings guard Odyssey Sims jump for a ball possession in the fourth quarter Thursday. Photo by Arie Graham.
Storm guard Sue Bird and Wings guard Odyssey Sims jump for a ball possession in the fourth quarter Thursday. Photo by Arie Graham.

Dallas, TX. – The Dallas Wings make an appearance in the win column for the first time in almost a month after defeating the Storm 88-79 Thursday night.

The Wings began the game strong, going 11-2 in the first three minutes. They moved the ball well, which enabled them to get 14 of their 25 first quarter points in the paint. They ended the half with a stagnant offense, which allowed the Storm to take the lead at the half, 38-36.

The third quarter was a different story, as the hosts outscored Seattle 31-19 by taking care of and sharing the ball. Rookie Aerial Powers provided a spark off the bench for the Wings by doing work on both ends of the court. She got a monster block on Storm forward Jenna O’Hea, followed by a three-point play, which caused an eruption from the crowd. Powers has scored in double digits in six of the last eight games.

“Whenever I do anything defensively, I feel more engaged,” Powers said. “Everything came together for me after that.”

The Wings maintained their lead throughout the fourth quarter. The Storm’s offense stalled for most of the period, as they kept trying to force passes inside on top of not being able to finish. Seattle rookie Breanna Stewart led all scorers with a career-high 29 points.

Odyssey Sims and Karima Christmas lead five Dallas players in double figures with 17 points each. The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Wings, who have weathered injuries this season.

“It is all a mind set of getting back,” Wings coach Fred Williams said. “We worked hard the last few days of practice and we are getting better at it.”

The return of point guard Skylar Diggins has been especially poignant for Dallas, and barring any setbacks, they may be able to build momentum from this point forward. But it will not be easy, as they face a Phoenix Mercury team that is heating up, on June 18 and the 21.

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