Tanisha Wright leads past Silver Stars, 82-76
Tanisha Wright didn't want to use the word redemption when talking about the Storm's loss in San Antonio two weeks ago. She simply made one...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Tanisha Wright didn't want to use the word redemption when talking about the Storm's loss in San Antonio two weeks ago. She simply made one thing clear about that 13-point defeat.
"We didn't compete," Wright said.
Seattle rectified that on Friday, turning a slow offensive start into a bevy of hustle plays and free throws in the fourth quarter to pull out an 82-76 win at KeyArena.
San Antonio trailed 76-73 after a three-pointer by guard Jia Perkins with 24.8 seconds remaining. The Silver Stars fouled Wright on the ensuing play, she made both free throws and later made a steal and layin with 6.9 seconds on the clock, sealing the win.
She made eight of 10 free throws in the final three minutes.
"One of them was coming off," said Wright of her final two foul shots. "Sometimes you gotta yell at it, talk to it."
Wright scored 14 of her team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter, putting her stamp all over the game. The plays were needed because Perkins and guard Becky Hammon seemed to counter everything with three-pointers to turn a 13-point Storm lead into a one-possession game.
"I love going to 'T' late in the game like that because she can really break things down," said Storm guard Sue Bird. "And I trust her probably just as much as anybody in this room at the free-throw line. She's proven herself."
The Storm (4-7) opened the second half on a 9-0 run, eventually building the double-digit lead. San Antonio (4-5), which has played only one game since last facing the Storm, responded by scoring five points off five turnovers in the third quarter.
A Hammon three-pointer made the deficit 65-62 with 2:55 left, signaling San Antonio's foul-then-score strategy.
"In the fourth quarter we let up just a little bit," Wright said. "Luckily for us, we were able to pretty much outscore them (32-31). When a game is tough like that, that's when you've got to bear down and rely on your bread and butter."
It's Seattle's third consecutive win and ninth consecutive at home against San Antonio. The Storm has made a sharp turnaround since starting the season 1-7.
But don't call it redemption.
"In terms of frustration level and overall vibe, that probably was the low point," Bird said of the June 9 loss in San Antonio. "At that point we weren't really playing well and collectively we just kind of let that one go, in terms of effort.
"It wasn't that long (ago), but in terms of the strides we've made, it feels like more than a month. We've really come together and figured out how we need to play ... it's a really good feel out there."
Former Storm guard Svetlana Abrosimova attended Friday's game, which stirred speculation she's close to signing with the Storm. Seattle would have to make a roster cut to add Abrosimova, and her salary would have to be negotiated within the already tight cap.
Abrosimova, a member of the Storm's 2010 championship team, said those considerations were premature. She said she's in Seattle to visit friends, but is working out in hopes of being signed.
• Storm forward Victoria Dunlap did not play due to a concussion suffered in Thursday's practice.
• Storm center Ann Wauters recorded her 2,000th career point, finishing with 11 and seven rebounds.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or email@example.com. On Twitter @JaydaEvans.
|San Antonio||17||11||17||31 — 76|
|Seattle||11||21||18||32 — 82|