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.”
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.”