SEATTLE (AP) – The Seattle Storm wore down a short-handed Atlanta Dream.
Tanisha Wright scored 13 of her 21 points in the second half and Camille Little added 19 points and 10 rebounds as Seattle beat Atlanta 73-65.
“I thought for the personnel we have on the floor right now, we really generated a lot of energy,” said Atlanta coach Fred Williams. “But in the fourth quarter, we ran out of gas. We had some open shots but didn’t put those down.”
Shekinna Stricklen added 10 points for the Storm in her first start. Seattle (6-8) had lost five of six.
Rookie Alex Bentley scored 16 and Erika de Souza had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta (10-3), which only had eight players available. The Dream were missing Angel McCoughtry (strained Achilles, 19.8 points per game), Sancho Lyttle (foot, 14.3) and Tiffany Hayes (knee, 10.8).
Seattle can relate to playing short-handed. Star players Sue Bird and Laruen Jackson are out all season with injuries.
“I mean as much as they don’t have McCoughtry and Lyttle, we’re missing two big dogs, too,” Wright said. “But I’m sure they’re not focused on that and I’m not focused on that either. I’m focused on getting wins and tonight we got a win and that’s all that matters.”
Seattle coach Brian Agler noticed the difference in Atlanta in the final quarter.
“I don’t think there is any question they wore down,” Agler said. “I thought they played very well. …The way they fought short-handed. But I’m not feeling sorry for them because there are a lot of teams short-handed.”
Atlanta forward Armintie Herrington said the injuries are a challenge many teams face.
“It’s pretty hard but nobody is feeling sorry for the Atlanta Dream right now,” Herrington said. “We didn’t feel sorry for the teams we beat when they were injured so you have to find a way to win and keep playing hard.”
Little scored five and Stricklen four during a 13-0 run to give Seattle a 65-54 lead with 3:35 left after trailing 54-52 with 8:52 remaining.
Courtney Clements hit a 3-pointer to snap Atlanta’s six-minute scoring drought.
Stricklen tied the game at 52 with a three-point play early in the fourth quarter. She added a put back to give the Storm their first lead of the game at 56-54 with 7:41 remaining and 20 seconds later hit an 8-footer to make it a four-point lead.
“She really had a good stretch there in the fourth,” Agler said about Stricklen. “She made multiple plays and had a couple of layups and made a good one-on-one move. She didn’t get off to a great start but had a good game for us.”
Wright scored seven to help Seattle cut an eight-point deficit to 50-47 after three quarters. Herrington scored the opening five points of the third quarter for Atlanta.
De Souza had 12 points and Bentley 10 to help Atlanta to a 37-32 halftime lead. Little and Wright had eight each for the Storm, which never led.
The Dream had won six straight before losing 94-72 last Tuesday at Minnesota.
McCoughtry scored 23 as Atlanta beat the Storm 68-59 on June 14. The Dream had won five straight over Seattle.
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