The Seattle Storm raced out to an early 17-7 lead on the Washington Mystics at KeyArena, seemingly clicking on all cylinders.
But credit the Mystics for, once again, not giving up and playing the Storm close to go into halftime only down 43-37.
Most impressive is that the Mystics have kept this game close without even relying heavily on their rebounding strength - the Storm are winning the offensive rebounding battle five to three and held the Mystics without an offensive rebound in the second quarter. Instead the Mystics beat the Storm at their own game in the second quarter by getting up and down the court and getting shots early in the shot clock or moving the ball to get the ball inside to center Crystal Langhorne.
In her return to the court after struggling with back pain, Langhorne finished the half with eight points, but uncharacteristically without a rebound. Meanwhile, Marissa Coleman had a game-high five rebounds and six points. Their play inside was complemented by 5-for-10 3-point shooting, led by Coleman's two threes.
But the story of the game was once again Sue Bird, who hit a variety of pull-up and set jumpers playing more off the ball to score a game-high 15 first half points. Tanisha Wright complemented Bird's scoring with four assists. The combination resulted in 53.6 percent first half shooting, showing ongoing improvement in their shooting.