ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — When the Seattle Storm couldn’t find the basket early Tina Thompson knew her team’s defense could partly compensate.
The Storm shook off poor early shooting and a 14-point deficit to eventually catch and pass the Chicago Sky on the way to a 69-60 victory Wednesday night.
“That was our lull in the beginning, we couldn’t put anything in,” said Thompson, who scored 10 points and added 11 rebounds. “But we played pretty well defensively. So once we got our rhythm offensively and our defense was as good as it was, that allowed us to build the lead.”
Camille Little and Temeka Johnson led a balanced attack with 16 points apiece as the Storm (5-6) snapped a three-game losing streak.
Seattle caught Chicago just before halftime for a 34-31 lead, built a 54-45 advantage after three quarters and maintained a double-digit lead through most of the fourth quarter as Shekinna Stricklen added 14 points.
Elena Delle Donne and Epiphanny Prince each scored 12 points for Chicago, Swin Cash had 14 rebounds and Delle Donne added 12 as the Sky had their lowest offensive production of the season.
“Players like Epiphanny and Elena, they’re so talented offensively, so our goal was just to not allow them to get too comfortable,” Thompson said. “And I think we did a pretty good job of that.”
Chicago (7-4) went 20 for 67 (29.9 percent) from the field and 4 for 22 (18.2 percent) on 3-pointers. Seattle was 23 for 63 from the field (36.5 percent).
“At times it seemed there was a lid on the basket,” Delle Donne said. “Other times they were running double teams, just trying to get the ball out of certain people’s hand. After the first quarter we just played on our heels, not only offensively but defensively, too.”
Chicago was without WNBA rebounding leader Sylvia Fowles, sidelined with a right ankle sprain suffered in last Saturday’s home win over Los Angeles.
She’s listed as day to day.
Cash broke a 7-7 tie with a layup at 6:44 of the opening period as the Sky scored 14 consecutive points for a 21-7 lead by quarter’s end. The Storm managed just 3 for 18 (16.7 percent) from the field.
Seattle turned it around in the second quarter, shooting 8 for 15 from the field while closing the period with a 15-2 run. The Storm grabbed a 32-31 lead on Tanisha Wright’s free throw with 26 seconds showing and extended to 34-31 at halftime after Stricklen’s steal and layup.
Chicago shot just 3 for 17 and had five turnovers in the period.
Seattle led by as many as 16 points with four minutes to play before Chicago made a late run to cut the final margin to single digits. The Sky’s previous low came in an 81-69 loss to San Antonio on June 7.
Seattle is at Washington on Saturday, while Chicago travels to New York on Sunday.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.