Down 16 points at halftime, the San Antonio Silver Stars began the second half with five consecutive turnovers.
The Seattle Storm took advantage with a 10-2 run to start the second half with a commanding 24 point lead.
"On the road we've had some lulls at the beginning of the second half and not playing up to our standards so we really wanted to focus on it and make sure we came out with a lot of energy," said Storm forward Swin Cash.
From that point on, the Storm just maintained the advantage and coasted to a 73-55 win without much threat.
And aside from getting a win going into the All-Star break, what made this game most impressive for the Storm was that they got strong performances from across the roster.
"We kind of let them do whatever they wanted to do tonight," said Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon, who finished with 11 points and five turnover. "We also let them push us out of our spots, move us and that's who they are."
Tanisha Wright led the way for the Storm with a game-high 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting and tying a game-high with three steals. While Wright was aggressive driving and getting to the rim, Cash found her touch from 3-point range and scored 15 points, including a career-high tying 4-for-6 3-point shooting and tying a game-high with nine rebounds.
And although point guard Sue Bird didn't have an outstanding scoring game, she had a game-high seven assists and exploited whatever passing lanes the Silver Stars defense gave up to set up players cutting to the basket for layups. The Storm's bench stepped up to match San Antonio's potent bench with 23 points.
It wasn't necessarily the Storm's best game overall, but through three quarters, at least, their offense remained fluid, they dominated a poor rebounding Silver Stars team on the boards, and they won the turnover battle. And a lot of that began with their defense.
'I thought they were extremely tough-minded defensively and physical," said Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes. "They really congested the paint."
With the paint congested, the game pretty went the opposite direction of the two teams' meeting last Thursday.
The Storm out-rebounded the Silver Stars 37-26 and nobody on the Silver Stars had more than three rebounds. Struggling to establish themselves in the paint, the Silver Stars retreated to the perimeter but weren't much more successful there. San Antonio shot just 27.1 percent from the field during the game, a season-low for Storm opponents.
With nothing falling for them, the Silver Stars clearly got impatient. Beginning with those five turnovers early in the second half, the Silver Stars turned the ball over 11 times in the second half.
A lot of that combined defensive effort began with the Storm's ability to contain All-Star guard Becky Hammon and prevent her from driving into the lane and finding shooters.
"We came out and did a good job of limiting Becky (Hammon) and Sophia (Young) kind of plays off of her and that limited that and forced other players to beat us," said Wright.
All-Stars Hammon and rookie forward Danielle Adams were held in check throughout the game, combining to score 12 points with Adams only scoring one. Sophia Young led the Silver Stars with 12 points on 4-for-13 and was rendered almost irrelevant in the second half.
"This is one of the most physical teams in the league, if not the most physical," said Hammon. "We just didn't handle it very well. It was one of those nights where everything went wrong. They're a good team and were a bit hungrier than we were tonight."
What the Storm can take from this game is that once they're focused defensively, they can beat just about anyone in the league. Of course, we already knew that.
But going into the All-Star break, a well-rounded effort like this one is an encouraging sign as the Storm fight to improve their standing in the Western Conference.
"That's the kind of basketball we want to play, right there," said Wright. "I don't know any way else to put it: that's the kind of basketball we want to play, we need to play to be successful."