High-scoring Sun, Storm to meet again
The last time the Connecticut Sun and Seattle Storm met, it was a career night.
For more than one player.
The Storm won the first of three meetings this season 103-92 on June 15 in Seattle as Natasha Howard scored a career-high 25 points.
Not to be outdone, Connecticut’s Chiney Ogwumike scored a career-best 30 points on 13-for-16 shooting and teammate Jasmine Thomas tied her career high with 29 points.
The two highest-scoring teams in the WNBA (the Sun are averaging 88.9 points per game and the Storm 87.4) will meet again Sunday at KeyArena in Seattle.
The previous meeting was the opener of a five-game trip for the Sun (9-6). They finally returned home and beat the Indiana Fever 101-89 on Wednesday as Ogwumike and Jonquel Jones each scored 21 points, but are now embarking on a four-game trip that will also take them to Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas to take on the Sparks, Mercury and Aces.
“The schedule that we have this year is really tough,” Sun center Brionna Jones said. “It’s really compact, but I think everybody is going through the same things. The last few games (before Wednesday) lacked focus, but I think we’re ready to pick in back up and get back on track.”
The Storm (11-5) are coming off an 81-72 victory Thursday at home against Los Angeles. Breanna Stewart, the league’s leading scorer with 22.6 points per game, scored 20 of her 27 points in the second half and point guard Sue Bird had 10 points and 11 assists.
Bird made a pull-up jumper and a 3-pointer before assisting on back-to-back baskets during an opening 20-7 run and Seattle never trailed, though the Sparks tied the score twice in the fourth quarter.
“We can’t get ahead of ourselves. We may be winning but we still have a lot of work to do,” Bird said. “We had a lull in the third quarter. Basketball is a game of runs but you still want to limit them and even though we were up 10, you want to be up 14 to 18, you don’t want to let a team come back. I think that there is always a lesson, win or lose.”
Storm coach Dan Hughes said he thought the playoff-type atmosphere against the Sparks could help his team in the future.
“I think it imitates what we’ve got to become good at. As we get into the second half of the season and as you get yourselves in the playoffs, (the games) are going to be like this,” he said. “And you are going to be staring at a game where you’re in the fourth quarter, it’s a tie score and whether it’s a nine-minute game, a five-minute game or a three-minute game, you got to have the poise to finish, and I thought we showed good poise.”