Houston 67, Seattle 64
Cometsí Rally Forces Game 3
SEATTLE, Sept. 1 (Ticker) -- The Seattle Storm are finding out how tough it is to repeat as champions.
The Storm squandered a chance to close out the Houston Comets, who rallied late behind Sheryl Swoopes for a 67-64 victory that evened the Western Conference Semifinals at one game each.
The defending WNBA champion Storm host the decisive Game 3 on Saturday. After a win at Houston on Tuesday, they could have eliminated the Comets but had a nine-game home winning streak snapped with their first loss at KeyArena since July 13.
Seattle blew a 10-point second-half lead and was clinging to a one-point advantage when Swoopes made a layup at the 2:06 mark, giving Houston the lead for good. The All-Star added two free throws 28 seconds later for a 65-62 lead.
Betty Lennox made a layup with 30 seconds left, but Janeth Arcain restored Houston's three-point lead with two free throws with 16 seconds to go.
On Seattle's last possession, Sue Bird missed a long 3-pointer and the rebound went out of bounds off Houston's Tina Thompson with 2.6 seconds to play. Lennox fumbled the inbounds pass and Iziane Castro Marques misfired on an off-balance 3-pointer.
"We were very fortunate we were able to pull this one out," Swoopes said. "Now we have another shot on Saturday."
Thompson scored 13 points, Arcain added 12 and Michelle Snow 10 for the Comets, who shot 48 percent (21-of-44) from the field and sank 25-of-28 foul shots.
Lennox scored 16 points and Lauren Jackson contributed 14 for the Storm, who made just 3-of-19 3-pointers and attempted just five free throws.