The Storm (2-1) trailed by 14 points early in the fourth quarter, but then used aggressive defense to pressure Chicago (2-2) into three shot-clock violations in the fourth period and another in overtime.
What appeared to be a lost cause for the Storm turned into a victorious 95-91 overtime thriller over the Chicago Sky.
Despite being outscored 18-5 in a six-minute span and trailing 80-66 with just six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Breanna Stewart said she and her Seattle teammates felt no inclination to accept defeat.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to count ourselves out in a game no matter how much we’re down,” Seattle’s third-year forward said. “We know that the tide’s going to turn very quickly in this league. There’s no hanging your head.”
The Storm had much to feel proud of Friday night in front of 5,866 at KeyArena.
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Stewart scored 28 points, including seven of Seattle’s eight overtime points, and Jewell Loyd posted her second consecutive 29-point game as the Storm (2-1) overcame double-digit deficits in both halves to claim its first home victory of the young season.
It was an erratic game in which Seattle missed its first five shots and 16 of its first 20. Yet Loyd buried back-to-back corner three-pointers in the final 30 seconds of regulation to fuel Seattle’s last-minute surge and Natasha Howard (16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds) put in a missed reverse layup by Stewart with 14 seconds left to tie the game at 87 and force overtime.
“For us, it was an inconsistent performance,” said Storm coach Dan Hughes. “We had some good moments, and we had some moments where we really struggled. But you’ve got to be really proud of a team that would never doubt that they could finish the game. It’s a great lesson.”
Led by all-star Allie Quigley (23 points), the Sky (2-2) shot 53 percent from the field in regulation but wilted late due to frenzied defensive pressure applied by the Storm during the final six minutes.
Seattle forced three shot-clock violations during that stretch and another in overtime, finishing the fourth quarter on a 16-5 run.
“Down the stretch and into the overtime, our defensive activity went to another level,” Hughes said. “We’d had a hard time stopping them. Our playmakers made plays for us, and our time-and-score execution had to be perfect to give us a chance. It’s a priceless win for a team to know that they’re not out of games even though things are tough.”
Stewart conceded the Storm has experience battling back from sizable deficits.
“Fortunately we know how to come back from them,” she said. “It was an up-and-down game. I don’t think at one point we had anything going completely our way, even at the end.
“We continued to play through it and made plays down the stretch and got it to overtime, and from there we knew those five minutes were ours, especially with the crowd and how into the game they were.”
Loyd missed her first five shots in the game but wound up hitting 8 of 21 from the field, including 4 of 9 from deep. What got her going?
“My teammates,” she said. “They stuck with me, and I was just feeding off the crowd and their energy. I was just making sure I got my feet set when I shot. I wanted to make sure I didn’t fade on my shot.”
The Sky, which saw a double-digit first-half lead vanish early in the third quarter, apparently reclaimed control of the game with an 11-1 run to finish the third period for a 73-62 lead. Seattle missed four shots and committed a turnover during that span.
• The Storm plays Sunday at Las Vegas (JOEtv, 5:30 p.m.), getting its first look at 2018’s No. 1 overall draft pick A’ja Wilson, then returns for home games Tuesday against Washington and Thursday against Las Vegas.