Surging Storm host slow-starting Fever

Sports

The defending WNBA champion Seattle Storm are showing signs of rounding into form.

They are 5-1 and have won four games in a row as they prepare to host the struggling Indiana Fever (1-7) on Tuesday night.

The Storm rolled to an 82-72 victory against visiting Minnesota on Friday night in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score suggests. Seattle rested its starters in the fourth quarter and got outscored 22-5.

“Our defense really dictated what we did offensively,” said Breanna Stewart, who led the Storm with 15 points. “We were able to turn them over and we were able to get defensive rebounds and really just push to the point where it’s difficult for them to match up if we’re running in transition every time.”

Seattle led the league in scoring defense last season and showed a glimpse of that form Friday night, holding the Lynx to 37.3 percent shooting overall and 24.0 percent (6-of-25) from behind the arc. The Storm had eight steals and seven blocked shots.

Defense has been a significant problem for the Fever, who are in the middle game of a five-game road trip. They lost back-to-back games in Las Vegas on Friday and Sunday by a combined 59 points.

The Aces shot better than 50 percent in both games and took control during high-scoring first halves in both games. They set a franchise record for points in a 113-77 win Friday night before winning 101-78 on Sunday to finish the sweep.

The Fever, who have allowed at least 83 points in six games, fell behind 30-13 at the end of the first quarter Friday and 32-15 at the end of the first quarter Sunday. In both games they made modest pushes only to fall hopelessly behind.

“We can’t have a bad first quarter and then try to piece it together in the second,” Fever forward Teaira McCowan said. “There’s too much up and down, we have to stay on a steady incline.”

–Field Level Media

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