It wasn’t the way the WNBA defending champion Seattle Storm would have wanted their night to go.
After the game against the Indiana Fever had started Storm fans learned what the team already knew. The New York Liberty had lost to the Washington Mystics giving Seattle their fourth straight playoff berth.
But from the beginning to the end the game against the Fever was anything but celebratory as the Storm had issues once again with turnovers and shooting which ended up costing them the game 63-54 to Indiana.
Seattle (15-14) has been fighting all season to defend their title since they realized they would be playing 2019 without forward and reigning WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart who they lost to an Achilles’ injury.
Then it was released that 11-time WNBA All-Star Sue Bird would undergo knee surgery and despite not being ruled out for the season at the time Bird has not come back to the roster and looks like win or lose it will be the players currently on the court who will play it out in the playoffs.
Since the All-Star break the Storm have gone 4-3 and have maintained a steady sixth place in the standings with the top eight making it into the playoffs.
Despite a win over the Minnesota Lynx last week, their most likely playoff opponent if everything stands as it currently is, the Storm struggled previously against the top two teams the Washington Mystics and the Connecticut Sun.
At the Mystics Seattle was drubbed losing by 29 points while at Connecticut they looked like they would pull out a win against a team who had only lost once so far at home this season.
But with less than two minutes left and a 12 point lead the Storm saw it dwindle away as fouls and turnovers resulted in a one-point Sun win 79-78.
Against Indiana (10-19) neither team looked sharp but at the end it was the Fever who outlasted the low shooting percentage and turnovers, both ended with 15 apiece, to take the win.
Seattle hit only 18 out of 63 shot attempts for 28.6% shooting. Indiana shot 36% while on the defensive side both teams hit double-digits in steals.
MVP candidate Natasha Howard was the only Storm player to score in double figures with 14 points and also lead the team in rebounds (9), assists (5) and three each in steals and blocks.
The Storm have five games left in the season and currently look to be taking the long road to the championship with a potential of two single-elimination game playoffs before hitting the semi-finals.
Seattle starts the final stretch at 7 pm on Tuesday, August 27 against number two Connecticut Sun at Alaska Airlines Arena.
They’ll play their final home game at 4 pm on Sunday, September 1 against the Atlanta Dream also at Alaska Airlines Arena.
The Storm then head out to play their final three games against the Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercury and the final regular season game at the Dallas Wings.