The Wings were relocated from Tulsa in the offseason, a move welcomed by Boucek after a snag last year during a Storm road trip. “I am sad for the fans of Tulsa, but (Dallas) is a little bit easier city to get to,” Boucek said. “That’s nice for us.”
The road continues to be difficult for the Storm, so any travel break is welcome. And Seattle has received one by playing in Dallas on Thursday.
The Wings relocated from Tulsa to begin the 2016 season. When majority owner Bill Cameron made the announcement in July 2015, Tulsa fans were outraged. But those without ties to the then-Shock said the decision was a good one.
Seattle was in the latter group because of its travel problems the past six seasons.
Last year, the San Antonio-Tulsa games were played on back-to-back nights. A travel snag after the game at the Stars forced the Storm to separate its travel party en route to Tulsa. The Storm arrived at the Shock game shortly before pregame warmups.
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“We actually played them really well despite that,” Storm coach Jenny Boucek recalled of the 93-89 loss. “But it was a rough time getting there. I am sad for the fans of Tulsa, but (Dallas) is a little bit easier city to get to. That’s nice for us.”
In the first part of this Texas two-step on Tuesday night, Seattle lost 77-70 to San Antonio. The Storm took an afternoon flight to Dallas on Wednesday and was able to practice ahead of Thursday’s game at College Park Center in Arlington.
The Storm was 8-6 all-time at Tulsa. The Wings, who are 1-4 on their new home court, remain a high-powered offensive team, averaging 81.3 points per game and leading the WNBA in offensive rebounding (12.4 per game).
The Wings (3-7) returned All-Star Skylar Diggins to the starting lineup Tuesday, a 91-88 loss at New York. She suffered a torn knee ligament last year.
“This (was) my first time having 12 players on the floor vs. eight or seven players,” Wings coach Fred Williams told reporters in New York. “We are starting to get acclimated with each other, and I think that each game we are going to build on what we saw (Tuesday).”
Thursday’s matchup is the finale of a four-game trip for Seattle (4-7). The Storm is 1-2 on the trip — the losses coming by a combined eight points — and 2-4 on the road this season.
“Taking care of defensive boards is going to be key,” Boucek said of playing Dallas. “They play very fast — one of the highest-paced teams in the league — and are explosive offensively. Defense in general is going to be key.”
• Storm forward Breanna Stewart has signed with Shanghai of the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association, the Hartford Courant reported, citing reports in China. The signing was reported by the Xinhua News Agency and the Shanghai Daily newspaper. Stewart, averaging 15.2 points and a WNBA-leading 10.1 rebounds, was the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft after leading UConn to four consecutive national championships. The WCBA season spans four months over the winter.