The Seattle Storm rank as one of the worst shooting teams in the league, and their struggles in the second half their last time out let a potential victory slip away.
In the San Antonio Stars’ latest game, an uncharacteristic shooting performance led to their downfall.
Both clubs will look to rebound from particularly discouraging losses when the Stars host the Storm on Friday night.
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Seattle (4-7) is shooting 40.9 percent on the season, but its solid start Wednesday against Indiana led to a nine-point second-quarter edge. That lead dissipated, though, and the Storm were outscored by 12 in the fourth of a 76-68 loss.
Camille Little scored 17 points and Tanisha Wright added 15 for Seattle, which shot 46.9 percent.
"(In the first half) we were really focused, really on task with what we really needed to do in order to stop them from doing what they wanted to do," Wright said. "The second half we kind of lost that focus and intensity. We just didn’t do as good of a job and down the stretch they took advantage."
Crystal Langhorne and Sue Bird were held in check. Langhorne is averaging 13.5 points but finished with only eight, while Bird went 2 for 8 from the field and hit one of her six 3-point attempts to finish with five points.
"We will learn from that and go on," coach Brian Agler said.
The Stars (4-5) are feeling similarly after falling apart down the stretch of a 91-79 double-overtime loss to Phoenix on Saturday. They hit 50.8 percent from the field in an 87-75 win over New York on June 5 before slipping to 27.8 percent against the Mercury.
Danielle Robinson scored 17 points but hit only 4 of 15 from the field, while Jia Perkins shot 3 of 13 off the bench and scored 11. Kayla McBride, who missed a driving layup as time expired in regulation, finished 3 of 17 from the floor.
”We just didn’t shoot well,” said guard Becky Hammon, who shot 1 of 10 and missed seven of her eight 3-point attempts. ”We shot terrible all game. It wasn’t just fatigue. The ball just wasn’t going in the hole. It happens.”
Coach Dan Hughes tried not to be discouraged after taking one of the Western Conference’s top teams down to the wire despite the Stars’ shooting woes. They were outscored 14-2 in the second overtime.
”Our effort was good,” Hughes said. ”Our play wasn’t always crisp, and offensively we really struggled.”
The Storm won last year’s season series 3-2 despite Bird missing each meeting because of knee surgery.