Storm collapse in overtime, losing game three to Aces in thriller


Seattle, WA – In a critical swing game, the Seattle Storm failed to hang with the Las Vegas Aces in overtime, falling 110-98. A myriad of things went wrong for Seattle, but the Storm only have themselves to blame. Missed free throws late that should have iced the game, poor defense against the best offensive team in the league, and an ice-cold start doomed the Storm. Seattle now has their backs against the wall, and will have to force a game five in Las Vegas. Game four is now a win-or-go-home situation.

Prior to the game, Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon stated that her team must “win” the first five minutes of this contest. Five minutes in, they had done that, with a score of 14-7. Although that’s only a seven-point lead, the Aces were hitting essentially any shot that they wanted. The Storm couldn’t buy a basket if they tried, and those two factors created a disaster mixture for Seattle.

Aces Coach Becky Hammon. Photo by fi360 News

While Seattle was able to shore up their shooting percentage a bit by the time the final whistle blew, their bone-chillingly cold start would set the stage for a slew of self-inflicted wounds. Tina Charles missed two free-throws with seven seconds left that should have been the final nail in the coffin. The Storm were very poor in the rebound department. And there were too many occurrences where the Storm were left in the dust on defense.

It really doesn’t need to be stated, but Sue Bird is one of the most iconic players in basketball history, let alone women’s basketball history. The Storm point guard almost had another iconic moment to hang her hat on in this game. A potential game winner, spoiled by the defensive breakdown that took place on the very next play.

With 1.9 seconds left on the game clock, and the Storm down by two points, Seattle had a decision to make. Who would get the ball in this situation? Breanna Stewart, who was heating up in the fourth quarter? Jewell Loyd, a player with clutch ability in her DNA? Or Stephanie Talbot, who had scored all of her points in that quarter? None, Sue Bird got the ball in the corner and splashed a three pointer to put Seattle ahead by two. What should have been one of the most memorable shots in league history, was essentially wiped away right after. Bird where she thought the game was really lost.

Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum (10) (Photo by fi360 News)

“We were up four with not a lot of time left, and that really to me is where we lost the game. Letting them take the lead, meaning they scored five points in three seconds, that to me is where we really let this one go. I understand the last plays will stick out because they’re dramatic and great TV, but we were up four,” Bird remarked.

At several points throughout this game, the Storm looked like a team that was drowning. Unable to find much of any rhythm offensively, simply couldn’t stop the Aces shooting, even with great defensive positioning. This game can easily be viewed as a potential must win, considering the depth and firepower that the Aces have. Now, after stealing a critical first game in Las Vegas, the Storm have failed to play to a level that would match the Aces in back-to-back matchups. Sue Bird discussed how Seattle can bounce back after the loss.

Seattle bench celebrate. (Photo by Channel Foster)

“You just do. I think right now, you’re not going to see happy faces, you’re not gonna see people that are thrilled with what happened, and that’s okay. You kind of have to go through those emotions to get to the other side, and then tomorrow we have one day to prepare… You just have to find a way to put this one behind you and move on,” Bird reflected.

The next game in this WNBA playoffs semifinals series is on Tuesday, September 6th. The series remains at Climate Pledge Arena, in a do-or-die game for the Storm. Tipoff is at 7PM PST between the fourth seed Seattle and first seed Las Vegas. Sue Bird’s final season rests on the shoulders of what takes place this Tuesday.