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Originally published May 31, 2014 at 11:22 AM | Page modified June 1, 2014 at 6:51 PM

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Storm returns home after four-game trip seeking a closer

The Storm found an early-game spark in Alysha Clark but now is looking for someone to help it close games better.


Seattle Times staff reporter

Sunday

Tulsa @ Storm, 6 p.m., KONG

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The Storm might have found its first-quarter spark during a four-game trip.

But what about a closer?

Seattle was outscored 61-41 in the fourth quarter of three road losses, returning with a 1-3 record from the trip to Eastern Conference teams. The Storm (1-5) hosts winless Tulsa (0-4) at KeyArena on Sunday.

Storm coach Brian Agler departed for the trip searching for a jolt in the first quarter of games. Alysha Clark was swapped for Noelle Quinn in the starting lineup in the first of the four games at Connecticut on May 23.

“She’s an energy-type player,” Agler said of Clark.

Clark began her first WNBA career start with a three-pointer in the opening seconds against Connecticut. She accounted for two assists in the first five minutes against Washington.

Agler sat Clark in the fourth quarters of the four-game trip, primarily in favor of Quinn, an eight-year veteran.

Quinn hasn’t shown to be the closer Agler wants among mainstays Sue Bird, Tanisha Wright, Camille Little and Crystal Langhorne.

With Quinn in the lineup to finish against New York, Seattle was outscored 13-0 in the final 2:25 of a 70-64 loss.

She played eight of her nine minutes in the fourth quarter of the Atlanta loss, Seattle tying the score at 61 with six minutes left. But the Dream outscored the Storm 19-8 down the stretch in an 80-69 win. Quinn missed three shots in the quarter.

“(We have to) have a better focus at the end of the games,” Langhorne said.

Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067

or jevans@seattletimes.com



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