Storm come close, but can’t complete the upset against Aces in first game since All-Star break 

Seattle, WA – To open the second half of the 2023 season, the Seattle Storm hit the Las Vegas Aces with the best performance they’ve had in their head-to-head matchups this year, but it wasn’t enough as the Aces managed to pull away. While superstar Jewell Loyd struggled from the field, the Storm got productivity from starters Ezi Magbegor and Gabby Williams while bench players Mercedes Russell and Jordan Horston had efficient games to cut into the Las Vegas lead. Ultimately, sloppy play including turnovers and missed free throws came back to haunt Seattle as they fail to put together complete efforts. 

Heading into the All-Star break, the Storm had been struggling with some slow starts to begin their game, digging an instant hole that a young team who is working on their own issues had to instantly dig themselves out of. Although Seattle didn’t take a lead out of the first frame, the fight that they showed proved that the Storm were going to roll over for an Aces team that handed the franchise their worst ever loss back on opening night of the season. While they struggled on the boards early, giving Las Vegas numerous second chances, Seattle was getting their own shots to fall early to help them gain some form of rhythm that they’ve needed on the offensive end. Even with Jewell Loyd going scoreless in that first quarter, the Storm remained in striking distance.   

“A lot of pride and a lot of growth in a lot of areas. We’re different from day one, and we’re not where we want to be, but that is what the second half of the season is. To continue to grow and progress in a lot of ways. How, when we’re facing opponents, we’re playing and how we’re adjusting to that, throughout the game. How we start games, how we are in the middle of games, and how we can continue to find ways to finish games. I think that it’s a positive to be in a situation where you’re in a single digit game late with a team whose very talented and primed to win a championship. For a young team, like ours, that shows a lot of pride, that shows just a testament to the work that they’re putting in, attentiveness to detail and other things that matter,” Noelle Quinn, Seattle Storm head coach, on if the team’s better performance in this game against the Aces compared to previous blowouts means anything.   

While it seemed like the issues on Seattle’s end were apparent and therefore easier to fix, the Storm seemed to forget what they needed to improve upon and add more to that list. Out of the break, Seattle continued to turn the ball over and lose the rebound battle while also still missing their free throw shots when they did get to the line. When playing any tough opponent, giving them free opportunities to extend their lead or just gain momentum in general is a big no-no and the Storm were doing just that. With just two ticks under three minutes, Las Vegas had ballooned their lead to 24 points, and this contest seemed like yet another run away for the Aces as they look to defend their 2022 title.   

“Honestly, I’m just happy to be in that position against the number one team in the league. For us, obviously, we’re learning, but closing a deal against Vegas, if you’re telling me we’re in that type of game tonight, I wouldn’t have imagined that. I think instead of closing the deal, it’s how to continue to play that same way. And maybe that kind of encompasses how we figure out how to close games, or possessions, quarters or whatever have you, but just a good position to be in with a very good team at that moment,” Noelle Quinn, Seattle Storm head coach, on tough it is to close out a team likes the Aces.  

Following tonight’s loss against the Aces and their 17th loss of the season, the Storm will have a very brief sort of rest period before they get back into action when the Chicago Sky come to town for a matchup on Saturday, July 22nd. The Sky will come into town on a four-game losing streak, while the Storm drag their eight-game winless drought along. The two teams will face off for their Saturday matchup with a tipoff time of 6PM PST and their battle will be broadcast on Amazon Prime Video.