In a slightly back and forth battle between the Dallas Wings and Seattle Storm, the game was tied at 68 near the beginning of the fourth quarter. A Skylar Diggins-Smith three with under eight minutes remaining gave Dallas yet another lead in the game.
Then, just like that, the Storm blew the game out of the water on an incredible 22-0 run to pull off the 97-76 road win. The Storm shot 53 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from the three point line, connecting on 13 of 29 shots.
Breanna Stewart was pivotal down the stretch and led all scorers with 28 points, scoring 16 of her points in the second half. She also added 12 rebounds tallying her 23rd double-double in her career. Sue Bird also finished with a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.
For the Wings, count it as an opportunity lost to knock off a top team and climb themselves up into the standings. They put together a solid 32 minutes, but weren't able to keep it going and it was due to lack of offensive consistency, turnovers and defensive breakdowns. There were a few timely and costly turnovers down the stretch and the Storm did a great job of making the Wings pay for that, especially with Stewart who took advantage of mismatches.
The Cambage Factor:
Liz Cambage was dominant for the Wings finishing with 23 points, 20 of which came in the first half. Any time she caught the ball, she had two defenders around her, one in front and one behind. Cambage draws a ton of attention defensively, and she has to. She is a six-eight powerhouse averaging 20 points per game and shooting nearly 58 percent.
She has great hands, the strength to bury you inside for deep positioning and can take you off the bounce. On top of that, she is one of the best post players in the league right when it comes to playing out of a trap or being double teamed. Check out this highlight of the ball going inside and her scoring against a double team.
What may look simple to your every day viewer is actually extremely difficult. Not only can she catch the ball with multiple defenders around her, but shes able to finish consistently and with a great deal of contact. Liz Cambage takes an absolute beating inside for the 31 minutes she averages on the floor each game. Nothing comes easy, it is extremely physical and highly difficult.
When you have such a unique force like Cambage it opens up your entire offense, especially when she demands as much attention from defenses like she has. Here is another one from a perfectly positioned pass where she is able to catch it high, keep it high and finish with multiple defenders hanging on her and flying around her.
I cannot stress enough how difficult this is but how vital it is for the Wings to run their offense through her and for her to get a touch each possession. It opens up unlimited options beyond just a dominant scoring force inside who is going to demand multiple defenders. If you're going to double, someone will be open. Cambage passes well out of traps, she remains strong with the ball and poised enough to deliver a sound pass to wide open shooters on the perimeter or is capable of hitting a player dive on the back side.
Credit to the Storm who did a good job of sticking to the game plan versus Cambage. In the fourth quarter in particular, they continued to wear on her with the trap and they also did a great job of forcing her to catch the ball further from the block than she would have liked.
The Storm sit at 10-4 and are currently in second place in the standings. The Wings are an even 6-6 and sit at eighth place. Both teams are back in action on Tuesday, June 26th as the Storm will head to Minnesota to take on the Lynx at 8:00pm ET and the Wings will face the LA Sparks at 10:30pm ET.
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