Seattle – With 20 seconds to play, the shot clock turned off, and the score tied at 77, the scene was set for Seattle to finish a third fourth-quarter comeback on its home floor this season.
But for the 4,352 on hand at KeyArena, Tuesday night was different.
After letting the game clock wind down, a last-second shot by Jewell Loyd fell short, and a 7-0 Atlanta run in overtime helped push the Dream past Seattle 91-86.
Seattle has now lost four of its last five games after starting the year 4-1, while Atlanta snapped a three-game skid with the win.
“It was a good, gutsy win for us,” said Dream head coach Michael Cooper.
Loyd led all scorers with 27 as one of five Storm players in double-figures, while Damiris Dantas had a career-high 22 points off the bench to pace Atlanta, as the Dream reserves outscored Seattle’s, 40-10.
Back-to-back baskets in the first 90 seconds by Loyd gave Seattle its largest lead of the night, with Atlanta outscoring the Storm by nine for the remainder of the quarter.
The Dream led by as many as 10 points in the second period — propelled by a balanced scoring attack that saw nine players score but none more than eight points by halftime — but a 6-0 run by Seattle over the final 2:30 cut the Atlanta lead to four at the break.
Seattle continued its push into the early moments of the third quarter, taking a two-point lead at the seven-minute mark with a basket from Crystal Langhorne. But after that lay in, the Storm missed its next seven shots, and ended the quarter just 5-for-16 from the field, trailing 62-57.
Atlanta again got its lead back to double-digits with a pair of free throws by Dantas with seven minutes to play, and led by nine after a layup by the Brazilian forward with 4:30 to go.
But the Storm weren’t done yet, with a three-pointer from Alysha Clark, and back-to-back trips to the free-throw line by Loyd shaving the deficit to four. A hook shot by Stewart, and another pair of free throws from the ex-Notre Dame guard knotted the score at 77.
“I thought we had a stretch of some good defensive possessions where we got stops and we were able to play at a better pace from the stops,” said Storm head coach Jenny Boucek.
In the extra period, Seattle took a one-point lead with a Bird three-pointer before a 7-0 run by Atlanta put the Dream ahead for good. The Storm pulled within one after a pair of Noelle Quinn free throws with five seconds to go, but after review, a foul on the ensuing possession by Breanna Stewart was deemed a clear path foul, giving Atlanta two free throws and the ball. Dantas made both, and, after another foul, Bria Holmes made two more to seal the result.
Cooper said it was execution on both ends of the floor that made the difference in overtime.
“We did a good job of keeping them in front of us most of the time,” he said. “On our end of the floor, I thought we did a good job of executing and getting good shots. If you can get good shots, not all of them are going to go in, but we got a good look at the basket. And if you get a good look, most of the time you’ll get a rebound, and I thought we did that well.”
That sentiment was echoed by Loyd.
“Turnovers down the stretch and execution is something that we have to figure out,” Loyd said.
Seattle is back at KeyArena on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. PT in a homecoming for ex-Washington standout and No. 1 overall pick Kelsey Plum with the San Antonio Stars.
Atlanta will finish its five-game road-trip in Indiana on Thursday night.
- Matee Ajavon got her first start of the season for Atlanta, and finished with four points in a season-high 23 minutes.
- Brianna Kiesel did not play for Atlanta, while rookies Alexis Peterson and Lanay Montgomery did not see action for Seattle.
- With a fourth quarter 3-pointer, Tiffany Hayes passed the 2,000-career-points mark.
- The game was the first overtime game for both teams in 2017.
- Attendance: 4,352