Early in the third quarter, the Seattle Storm looked like a team headed for a loss, down 18 points to a Connecticut Sun team that was clicking on all cylinders.
So that the Storm even had the ball with a chance to tie with under 10 seconds left is actually quite remarkable.
They had cut their turnovers down to two in the fourth quarter, started to get second chance opportunities from offensive rebounds, and held the Sun to 25 percent shooting with much better defensive intensity.
Yet after coming around a screen to receive an inbounds pass from Katie Smith, Storm point guard Sue Bird missed a contested 3-pointer with 4.2 seconds left and the Storm fell 75-70 in Connecticut.
For all that went right in the fourth quarter, they ultimately dug themselves too big a hole to pull out a win. And a failed comeback attempt is probably no consolation for a team that appeared to be finding an offensive rhythm without center Lauren Jackson prior to this game and probably could have used the confidence boost gained from winning three in a row.
And once again, it was one player shouldering the burden for the majority of the scoring burden for the team.
Forward Swin Cash scored a game-high 25 points on the strength of 12-for-12 shooting from the free throw line, also giving the Storm a huge energy boost when they needed it down the stretch by crashing the boards for a team-high nine rebounds. Forwards Camille Little and Le'coe Willingham added 10 points apiece with Little contributing seven rebounds as well. But once again, the Storm struggled to find their perimeter shooting touch, shooting 3-for-21 from beyond the arc for the game and 1-for-11 in the closely contested fourth quarter. Again the started to settle for long jumpers when the game got close and were unable to convert.
Perhaps an even bigger problem as the Storm look to continue on their Eastern Conference road trip is defending the post without Jackson - Sun center Tina Charles was simply dominant for most of the game until the Storm did a better job of pressuring the guards and closing down passing lanes. Charles finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Kara Lawson had 16 points and seven assists.
The Storm's road trip continues at Washington on Sunday and then on to Indiana on Tuesday, two winnable games but two teams that also have strong post players.