Late Rally Falls Short in Seattle


WNBA | KeyArena (Seattle, Wash.)

August 17, 2013

SEATTLE – Tina Thompson scored 23 points Saturday to help the Seattle Storm get past the Indiana Fever, 77-70 at KeyArena. She hit 11-of-12 free throws and added seven rebounds.

It was Indiana’s third straight loss and its fourth in five games. The Fever (11-14) closed a three-game, four-day West Coast road trip after earlier losses at Phoenix and Los Angeles.

The Storm (11-13) staved off a late Indiana rally and never trailed in the second half. Thompson’s free throws with 4.1 seconds left iced the win.

Briann January’s 3-pointer with 1:09 to play pulled Indiana within 73-70, but Tamika Catchings missed the opportunity to tie when her 3-point attempt fell off the rim with 18 seconds to play. Seattle’s Tanisha Wright added a pair of charity throws with 17.1 seconds on the clock, and following a deep 3-point miss by Karima Christmas, Thompson sealed the final score.

Catchings paced the Fever with 21 points and January added 17. Erlana Larkins had 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Fever who played its fourth straight game without All-Star guard Shavonte Zellous, held out of action due to plantar fasciitis.

Wright finished with 16 for Seattle and Shekinna Stricklen added 15.

“We had some fatigue, but you have to play through it,” said Catchings. “We put ourselves in position, but missed some open shots. They didn’t. They were more fresh than we were. That was the difference.”

The Storm made their first eight shots of the game for an early 10-0 run and led 25-16 after the first quarter. After Wright staked Seattle to an 11-point advantage with a bucket to open the second quarter, Indiana scored 10 of the next 12 points, outscored the Storm 23-15 in the quarter, and briefly led at 39-38.

Seattle led 40-39 at intermission and never trailed thereafter, though never could shake the Fever.

Seattle got seven straight points from Stricklen to cap a 10-4 run late in the third, commanding the Storm to a 59-53 lead, but Indiana matched the run with six straight of its own, four from Catchings, as Indiana tied it in the opening seconds of the fourth.

Seattle’s lead was just two, 67-65, after Indiana free throws by Briann January with 4:29 to play, but the Storm capitalized on misses by Layshia Clarendon and Catchings. The Storm got a baseline jumper from Tina Thompson and a pair of free throws by Wright to keep the margin at six.

Free throws by Catchings and a layup by Seattle’s Noelle Quinn set up the final minute of play.

The Fever returns to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Aug. 21 to host the San Antonio Silver Stars on Adopt-A-Pet Night.