After losing six straight games, the Dallas Wings figure something out in an 88-79 win over the Seattle Storm. Things have been confusing to begin this season, new city, a couple new pieces to the puzzle, and Skylar Diggins fresh off a knee injury.
“It was important. We kind of felt it in New York. We came out strong and we wanted to build on that. We came in here to protect homecourt and we finally got this win.”
-Forward Karima Christmas on snapping the losing streak.
Things started off well for the Wings as they started the first quarter on a 13-4 run, with Karima Christmas and Plenette Pierson fueled that early run. However, after a 21-12 run by the Storm, Dallas only lead by one point at the end of the quarter, 26-25. The problem stemmed from allowing Seattle’s Breanna Stewart to hit nine points off 3-4 shooting early on, which build her confidence.
Things really began to go the Storm’s way, up by two points at the half. Stewart really did a great job finding her shot as she scored eight more points to propel her point total to 17. She actually only missed two shots the entire half. Seattle’s defense also improved in the second quarter, resulting in Dallas only scoring 11 points.
A huge reason they struggled offensively in the first half was their three point shooting. They shot just 2-12 in the first half and missed all 6 in the second quarter. meanwhile, the Storm did a good job pumping the ball in the paint and getting buckets. That’s where Dallas found themselves trailing at the half 38-26.
Everything this team struggled doing in the second quarter worked out in the third. The halftime talk must’ve been a good one because offensively they looked like a completely different team with a confidence you typically don’t see after losing six straight games. Really, the third quarter happened to be rookie forward Aerial Powers best one, maybe all season as she scored seven of her 13 points. Her tenacious rookie season continues to amaze me personally, and I’m sure many others.
“When I am doing things defesively, I feel engaged a little bit more, When I got that block (in the third quarter), I got a little hype and that’s when everything got going for me.”
-Forward Aerial Powers on her defense leading to offense.
Karima Christmas had a big part in the team’s third quarter success as well, though, scoring seven points of her 17 points along with Courtney Paris, scoring six of her 13 points and collecting 10 rebounds at the same time.
“Yeah, third quarter, obviously that’s when every team wants to go on a run, first quarter and third quarter. They got to the free throw line way too many times in that quarter, got a lot of and-ones. It was kind of defeating and hard to kind of bounce yourself back from, but we were up at half and we should have built on that, and we didnt.”
-Seattle Storm forward Breanna Steward on them playing catch up in the third quarter.
The Wings were on cruise control for the fourth quarter. Of course, the Storm made a slight late-quarter run but Dallas withstands it and finds a way to snap that losing streak. It surely didn’t help Seattle’s cause when they shot 2-15 (13.3 percent) from the three-point line after starting 2-4 in the first half…they missed 11 straight, and for some reason they kept shooting them after missing five in the third. A Huge reason why they lost right there.
Also, to make things better, Skylar Diggins looked a little more comfortable out there, hitting nine points off 4-6 shooting which isn’t a huge number but the fact that she added a team-high five assists really helped get other players open looks.
Maybe, just maybe this was the game to set the tone for the rest of the season. They needed this, and they needed to find a real identity as a team and did so.
Dallas moves up to fourth in the Western Conference, just a half-game behind their next opponent, the Pheonix Mercury for third place. That game will take place on Saturday, June 18. Thier next home game will also be against the Mercury on Tuesday night.