Balanced Attack Equals Big Win for Storm

Balanced Attack Equals Big Win for Storm

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Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (10) passes the ball to guard Alysha Clark (32) while Connecticut Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike tries to defend. Clark made the basket to give Bird one of her nine assists as Seattle went on to beat the Sun 84-70 on July 1st at the KeyArena. Photo by: Virginia Lopez/VELO Photography
Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (10) passes the ball to guard Alysha Clark (32) while Connecticut Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike tries to defend. Clark made the basket to give Bird one of her nine assists as Seattle went on to beat the Sun 84-70 on July 1st at the KeyArena. Photo by: Virginia Lopez/VELO Photography

When you see the point totals for the WNBA Seattle Storm after their game against the Connecticut Sun on July 1, there was no player over 15 points, but there were six players in double figures. Add to that a balanced defense and it all added up to an 84-70 win.

“I think that’s just the flow of our offense: trying to get everyone involved,” said Storm guard Jordin Canada. “I think that’s a testament to our team that we like sharing. Every other game you’ll get people that have 20-point games, but I think tonight we were just trying to create some offense for everybody. I think it shows that we like to share the ball.”

And when it comes to sharing one player who does it better than just about anyone is Seattle guard Sue Bird who added nine assists to continue adding to her all-time assist lead but it was one assist in the third quarter that had everyone in the KeyArena jumping out of their seats.

With 2:57 left in the third quarter guard Jewell Loyd stole the ball and passed it to Bird. Bird raced down the court and as she hit the side of the key she turned her back to the basket while making a blind two-handed pass over her head that went directly to center Natasha Howard who was following the play. Howard put in an easy lay-up and with 9,307 in attendance the Key became a bedlam of noise.

“I don’t really have an answer [to making a pass like that]…,” said Bird. “When you do something like that, you just kind of look back after and hope the player is where you thought they were going to be. Luckily Natasha was. I kind of knew she was going to be open because of the way the play unfolded it was just a matter of (how) I was going to get it there. I didn’t plan on that, but once I turned my back I just thought all right it’s the only way I’m going to get it there.”

Bird has been on an assist tear having recorded 11 last Friday in the Storm’s win against the Los Angeles Sparks and nine in a loss against the Minnesota Lynx on July 26.

When asked about her assist ratio Bird said, “I think it’s just our offense, our offense lends to making the right pass at the right time.” And the captain continued to share as she pointed out she doesn’t get assists without her teammates.

“I’m just the player that is trying to do the right thing in the right time,” said Bird. “And when you have offensive threats the way we do, people who can make shots the way we do, it’s going to lend to a lot of assists. And the other thing I would say, ‘It takes two to tango.’ My teammates are doing a great job of scoring.”

Seattle (12-5) was led in scoring by Howard with 13 points while adding eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Three players scored 11 points, forward Breanna Stewart, Bird and Loyd while coming off the bench scoring 10 points each were Canada and forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.

Connecticut was led by Alex Bentley with 15 points followed by center Jonquel Jones with 10 and Bria Holmes with 11.

With the team each contributing and doing their part offensively and defensively the Storm are feeling good about where they are, but know that it’s still a long season ahead and most of it will be on the road.

“I’m happy we’re 12 and five. It’s better than being five and 12 without a doubt especially when we’ve had so many home games,” said Bird. “But on the flipside we’re going to be on the road a lot and anything can happen on the road.”

Bird said now that it’s later in the season teams have developed their identity and playing them at home can be tough going.

“So we’re sitting here understanding that we’ve done some good things but we have a long way to go and there’s nothing to celebrate yet,” said Bird. “I think with that you just got to take it one game at a time.”

Seattle takes two on the road as they face the New York Liberty for the first time Tuesday night in New York then on Friday they head to Atlanta to take on the Dream.

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