Storm send Lynx to first loss, 65-62
SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Storm finally found a way to finish a game — and in the process, finished off Minnesota's season-opening win streak.
Tanisha Wright scored 13 points, including a pair of free throws with 10.3 seconds left, and the Storm hung on to hand the Lynx their first loss of the season Friday night, 65-62.
Crystal Langhorne also scored 13 for the Storm (3-6). Camille Little added 12 points, draining a 3-pointer with 2:07 to play for a 59-57 lead. Seattle never trailed again.
"We've had a lot of close games where we didn't close it out, or we were in position to win and gave it away," Little said. "I think we really wanted to focus on closing the game tonight."
Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus scored 12 points apiece for the three-time defending champion Lynx (7-1). The only better start was in 2012 when Minnesota won its first 10 games. That streak also ended with a 65-62 loss at Seattle.
Moore came in averaging 27.6 points, and Augustus was averaging 19.9. Moore scored just two points and Augustus four during the final quarter.
"I thought our defensive efforts in the second half were really on task," said Storm coach Brian Agler, who kept All-Stars Sue Bird and Langhorne on the bench for the entire fourth quarter as his unit on the floor was effective at both ends of the court.
"That group out there just played so instinctual defensively," Agler said. "They made a lot of good decisions. They stayed in place with Augustus and Moore, and they're two spectacular players."
Bird still finished with a season-high 10 assists.
Up 59-57 on Little's 3-pointer, the Storm extended it to 61-57 on a 12-footer by Wright with 1:12 to go. Lindsay Whalen answered with a free throw and then a jumper, cutting it to 61-60 at 23.8 seconds.
Temeka Johnson hit two free throws for the Storm for a 63-60 edge, then Seattle allowed Whalen an uncontested lay-in with 11.4 seconds to go.
Wright drained her two free throws, then a last-gasp 3-pointer by Tan White fell short.
The Lynx, after shooting 53 percent on the way to a 40-32 halftime lead, were limited to just 30 percent (9 of 30) through the final 20 minutes, scoring just 22 points. Averaging 87.1 points a game, their lowest-scoring output before Friday was 75.
"It's going to be hard to beat any team in this league scoring 22 points in a half," Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. "Give Seattle credit for that. When the going got tough for us, we were no-shows tonight, which is not characteristic of our team. They wanted to win possessions more than we did."
A moment of silence was observed before the game in the aftermath of Thursday's shooting at Seattle Pacific University that left one student dead and three injured. The Storm's practice facility is on campus in the building across the street from where the shooting took place, and they were in that facility at the time.