The Storm have a five-game win streak and 12-4 record at home, a place of occasional comfort during a road-heavy last stretch of the regular season.
The comforts of home are scattered across the country for retiring superstar Sue Bird. She has strong ties to cities that house one-fourth of the league, having been born in New York, won two national championships with University of Connecticut and spent her WNBA career in Seattle.
“It’s funny, because I come to Connecticut, and I talk about how it’s my home. I go to play in New York, and I talk about how that’s a homecoming,” Bird said, “When I’m in Seattle, all I talk about is how it feels like it’s home.
“I feel really lucky that I have these three places that I can legitimately call and refer to as home, because that’s how I feel about them.”
For the better part of the past decade, Bird has tried to spend a week each year near the UConn campus, catching a game and working out with the team.
Aside from the contingent of former UConn players, the Storm will be away from home Thursday at the Connecticut Sun, the team directly ahead of them in the standings, in third place. The next two games are against the Washington Mystics, a game behind in fifth.
“We’re getting down to these final games where every game’s going to matter. Every game is going to shift the standings,” Bird said. “You try to take care of business. You try to do what you can to control your own destiny.”
Tina Charles’ game-high 27 points included her 7,000th in the WNBA, and the Storm straightened out after a two-game, two-loss road swing Sunday. They beat the Atlanta Dream 82-72 at friendly Climate Pledge Arena.
“We took our lumps, learned a lot from it,” Bird said of the short skid.
“You have to have a short memory, learn from your mistakes, and you have to keep it moving. So that’s what we’re trying to do.”