Jenna O’Hea led Seattle with a career-high 17 points.
Minnesota used a strong second-half defense and timely shooting to come back from an 18-point deficit and beat the Seattle Storm, 76-73, at KeyArena on Thursday.
Lynx center Damiris Dantas drew Storm forward Abby Bishop into a foul, connecting on a three-point play to give the Lynx a 73-72 lead — its first since the first quarter — with 18.4 seconds left in the game. Minnesota All-Star Seimone Augustus added two shots from the foul line to provide the final margin.
“It hurts,” said Storm forward Jenna O’Hea, who finished with a career-high 17 points. “We should have won that game. We were in control for what seemed like 98 percent of the game. To let it slip at the end … it hurts.”
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Augustus led all scorers with 24 points. Lynx reserve Monica Wright and Devereaux Peters provided the defense, the latter finishing with four steals, five blocks and five defensive rebounds.
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Bishop had a near double-double (12 points and nine rebounds) for Seattle while Sue Bird had 16 points and five assists.
“There’s a big difference between playing well in a game and closing one out,” Storm coach Jenny Boucek said. “They (Minnesota) have a lot of experience, collectively, closing games out together. We don’t have that experience together, and in large part individually, to win WNBA games. We’re young.”
Minnesota used a 9-0 run to pull within 64-63 on a three-pointer by Maya Moore with 5:39 left in the game. Seattle was in the midst of a five-minute scoring drought when O’Hea hit a three-pointer with 4:57 on the clock.
Augustus closed the deficit within 69-68 on a pair of free-throws.
Bird answered with a vintage three-pointer to give the Storm a 72-68 lead with 60 seconds left. It brought the crowd of 5,627 to its feet and it didn’t sit until the final horn.
Seattle (2-5) was having another one of those nights — and this time it won’t need an asterisk.
It was the second time of the young season where Seattle shot better than 45 percent from the field in the first half. But unlike the season-opening win against Los Angeles, Thursday’s performance was against a roster that had its All-Stars, Olympians and WNBA champions on the court. L.A. was missing its stars Nneka Ogwumike (injury) and Candace Parker (rest).
Bishop nailed a jumper with 6:20 remaining in the opening quarter to ignite an 18-7 Seattle run. Seattle was up 18 points, 43-25, following a jumper by Bird with 5:24 left in the half.
“A lot just happened in those two hours,” said Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve, whose team improved to 6-2. “You just have to hang in there, and I was really proud of us.”
• University of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma attended Thursday’s game. He sat courtside with Storm general manager Alisha Valavanis. Auriemma, who coached UConn to the program’s 10th NCAA championship in April, had five former players in the game Thursday.
• Center Markeisha Gatling, who was signed June 6, made her season debut against Minnesota. She finished with seven points.
Information in this article, originally published June 25, 2015, corrected June 26, 2015. A previous version of this story misspelled Jewell Loyd’s name in a photo caption.