SEATTLE - Lauren Jackson scored 28 points, including a reverse layup with 19.3 seconds remaining, Sue Bird hit three consecutive 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and the Seattle Storm rallied to beat the Indiana Fever, 85-81, at KeyArena on Friday night.
“Our play in the second half was a lot better, and the third quarter defensively was very good,” Storm coach Brian Agler said.
Swin Cash added 21 points to help the WNBA-leading Storm (12-2) win its third in a row since a 72-65 loss at Indiana on June 17.
“It felt like a playoff game,” said Bird, who finished with 16 points. “They’re a very good team, a very tough team. It’s good to face things like that. We showed our character and never gave up. We never do, especially in this building.”
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Katie Douglas had 29 points, one short of her career high, for the Fever (8-5).
“They’re very good at home, and we had a chance to win,” said Fever coach Lin Dunn, who was the Storm’s first coach in 2000-02. “At the end of the day, the fact that they took 32 free throws and we only took 18 was a factor.”
Tameka Catchings added 17 before fouling out with 44.6 seconds left.
“We played well in spurts. But obviously, they played well longer in spurts, and that’s a huge reason why they were able to win the game,” Douglas said. “We had an 11-point lead at one point, and they kept hitting. We weren’t hitting and then we weren’t getting stops, so when you combine those things with a team of this caliber, it’s tough.”
Indiana had a 60-49 lead before going scoreless for the last 4:39 of the third quarter. Seattle finished the quarter on a 9-0 run to get to 60-58.
The third of Bird’s three consecutive 3-pointers put Seattle up 71-70 with 4:20 remaining.
Indiana managed one more tie, at 74, then a 3-pointer by Cash put the Storm ahead for good with 1:57 to go, 77-74.
“Everyone took it into their hands,” Jackson said. “At the end of the day, everyone knew what they needed to do, and they got it done.”