WASHINGTON – After losing seven of their first eight games, the Seattle Storm decided to stop thinking too much and just let their instincts take over. Now, they’re on an unbeatable roll.
Sue Bird scored 25 points and Ann Wauters added 14 as the Storm completed a home-and-home sweep of the Washington Mystics with a 79-71 win on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.
Seattle (6-7) never trailed and held a 30-17 advantage at the free-throw line in the opener of a four-game road swing. The Storm moved into a tie with San Antonio for third place in the Western Conference.
“When you’re in a comfort zone as a team, you’re able to play instinctively, not think too much,” said Bird, who scored 18 points in the second half. “Early in the season we were a new group, a think there was a lot of thought going on. Now, we’re just out there playing.”
Crystal Langhorne led the Mystics (2-9) with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
The Storm led by 14 points in the first half, though their edge was only 32-26 at halftime.
With a second-half lineup featuring Langhorne and four reserves, the Mystics knocked down 7 of 10 shots opening the third quarter and knotted the score at 36.
Seattle only made five 3-pointers, but three came in the subsequent stretch. After 3s from Bird and Katie Smith countered Mystics scores, Wauters’ shot from beyond the arc put the Storm ahead for good at 45-42 and sparked an 11-2 run.