SEATTLE — Sue Bird scored 21 points and Tanisha Wright added 12 points and eight assists as the Seattle Storm beat Minnesota 65-62 on Sunday night, handing the defending champion Lynx their first loss of the season.
Tina Thompson added 10 points for the Storm (3-7), including two game-clinching free throws with 1 second remaining. Thompson also grabbed two key rebounds in the final 5 seconds, including an offensive board with 1.9 to go after Bird missed two free throws.
“I just tapped it a little bit trying to get it to myself,” Thompson said about her offensive rebound. “Although I was trying to get it, a little luck of it bouncing my way helped, too.”
Bird, who entered the game shooting 93 percent (13 of 14) from the line, certainly appreciated Thompson’s rebound.
“I said thank you immediately,” Bird said. “That was huge. That sealed the game for us. When she got the rebound, I definitely exhaled.”
Maya Moore scored 14 points and Seimone Augustus added 12 for the Lynx (10-1), who had set the record for the longest unbeaten start in WNBA history.
The Lynx rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second quarter to pull to 63-62 on Moore’s two free throws with 1:05 to go. However, neither team scored until Thompson’s last-second free throws.
Augustus missed a 16-foot baseline shot with 4.4 seconds left and Moore’s 3-point attempt from 28 feet brushed the net as time expired.
Seattle coach Brian Agler said Thompson’s clutch plays down the stretch demonstrated her all-around game.
“Obviously, she’s the all-time leading scorer in the league,” Agler said. “But she’s one of the great competitors in the league. You saw two of the rebounds she came down with in the guts of the game. The one on the free throw was huge. She just outworked people.”