After three straight heartbreaking losses, Seattle finally broke through and came back from being down eight at the half to beat Tulsa 74-69 on Tuesday night.
The Storm (3-7) had lost its last three games by a combined nine points, with one of the losses coming against Tulsa on Sunday, and was able to get over the hump to snap the team’s five-game losing streak.
With 8:09 in the third quarter, Brianna Kiesel drilled a three to give Tulsa a 45-36 lead and Seattle buckled down and closed the gap.
Sue Bird drove to the basket and found Crystal Langhorne at the top of the key for the jumper to cut the lead to seven. The Storm then hit the break and Jenna O’Hea found Langhorne under the basket for the layup.
Seattle kept the offense rolling and a fall away jumper from Bird gave the Storm a 46-45 lead. The Storm went on a 12-0 run to take a 48-45 lead.
Bird scored a team-high 17 points on 7-for-13 from the field.
After Tulsa tied it back at 48, the rookies gave Seattle a boost and two straight buckets from Ramu Tokashiki and an alley-oop layup from Jewell Loyd put it back up by six.
With 3:33 left in the fourth and Seattle up by one, Bird caught the ball off the curl and hit the jumper in the lane to put the Storm up 66-63. After an answer from Tulsa, Loyd dribbled into the lane, got bumped and hit the fade away jumper.
The free throw gave Seattle a 69-65 lead.
With 1:05 left and Seattle up by two, Tokashiki hit a jumper to put the Storm up 71-67. Two possessions later, Tulsa had a chance to cut into the Seattle lead again but a block from Tokashiki, one of her four on the game, sealed the game.
The rookie scored 12 points off the bench on 6-for-10 from the field and Loyd chipped in with 13 points.
Seattle had five players in double figures, including Langhorne who finished with 15.
Seattle will look to make it two straight when it takes on Minnesota at the Target Center on Friday.
With only nine players on the active roster, Tulsa had to jump out to a quick lead and it did as it rode Riquna Williams’ nine points early in the first quarter to a 12-0 lead. She scored 12 points in the first.
The Storm battled back and got a jumper from Tokashiki to cut the Tulsa lead to 16-9. Bird appeared well rested after sitting out Sunday’s game and scored seven straight points for Seattle, including two straight threes, to make it a two-point game at 20-18.
Seattle went on an 18-8 run.
The Storm continued to keep it close and was able to tie up in the second quarter when it got a jumper from Tokashiki and a pair of free throws from Loyd to make it 32-32.
But Tulsa fired back with a step back jumper from Williams, who scored 16 first half points, and jump started an 8-0 run to close the half up 40-32.
She finished with a game-high 23 points.