Hinkle Fieldhouse Indianapolis

Seattle Storm vs. Washington Mystics Pick & Prediction JULY 31th 2022

WNBA | BASKETBALL
TV:
Logo Seattle Storm
VS
Logo Washington Mystics
155.5
OPENNER
-3

156.5o -110
CURRENT
-3.5 -105

+125
MONEYLINE
-145

75
SCORE
78

One day after the Seattle Storm turned an 82-77 road victory over the Washington Mystics into a spot in the WNBA playoffs, the teams will meet again in the nation's capital.

Now the Storm can focus on getting the best possible seed for next month's playoffs, starting with Sunday's rematch against the Mystics.

At 19-11, Seattle stands in fourth place, one game up on Washington (18-12). The Storm is also 1 1/2 games behind third-place Connecticut with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

Saturday's win also gave the Storm the advantage in the regular-season series with the Mystics, which could be vital if a tiebreaker is needed to determine postseason seeding.

It also will be another last in the marvelous career of Seattle point guard Sue Bird, who is retiring at season's end. It will be her last game in the nation's capital, and while it doesn't have the emotional cachet of her last game Thursday at Connecticut, where she played college basketball, it's still a big deal.

"The emotion at times definitely catches up to me, but in a good way," Bird said. "I'm still on a team that's trying to compete for a championship so there is a balance that happens between the joy in the moment but also playing competitively and having that main focus."

Washington needs a win to aid its hopes of earning home-court advantage for the first round of the WNBA playoffs. The league changed its playoff format this year, going away from a stair-step set-up that gave the top two seeds double byes to a conventional 1-seed vs. 8-seed, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5 format.

Presently in fifth, the Mystics still can earn home-court advantage in the first round and maybe the second if things break their way.

The Mystics almost overcame a seven-point deficit in the last 90 seconds Saturday and had a chance for the lead late, but Elena Delle Donne missed a shot under duress with 15 seconds remaining and Seattle was able to finished off the victory at the line.

"We just need to control our destiny," Washington point guard Natasha Cloud said.

--Field Level Media
PREDICTION
Seattle Storm
76
80
Washington Mystics

Seattle Storm vs. Washington Mystics

If it was a preview of the WNBA Finals, as one preview story suggested, then the Washington Mystics are in good position to repeat as league champions.

Canning 10 3-pointers en route to an 18-point halftime lead Thursday night, Washington soundly thrashed the Seattle Storm 89-71 on Thursday in Bradenton, Fla.

Four players reached double figures for the Mystics (3-0), led by Ariel Atkins, who made five 3-pointers while scoring a game-high 22 points on her 24th birthday. Myisha Hines-Allen added 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Leilani Mitchell scored 12 points -- all on 3s. Emma Meesseman chipped in 10 points for Washington, which drew 25 assists on 33 made buckets, committed just eight turnovers and was 15 of 32 from 3-point range while shooting 43.4 percent overall.

Seattle got 15 points and 10 rebounds from Breanna Stewart, but the normally efficient scorer managed to hit just 5 of 14 shots from the field. The Storm (2-1) connected on just 39.4 percent of their field goal attempts, including a pitiful 5 of 25 on 3-pointers, and also coughed up 18 turnovers.

The Mystics took control almost from the opening jump. After Sue Bird's pull-up jumper initiated scoring for Seattle, Washington rattled off 12 straight points. Aerial Powers' pull-up jumper capped the run less than four minutes into the game.

While the Storm clanged away, the Mystics patiently executed, moving the ball and consistently finding clean looks. Their lead stayed in double figures for the game's final 29:40, reaching 50-32 at intermission as Meesseman took a Powers pass and converted a reverse layup with 18.5 seconds left.

The margin reached 25 points with 4:13 left in the third quarter when Hines-Allen canned a fadeaway in the lane to make it 65-40. Seattle made a decent run over the next 10 minutes, slicing the deficit to 12 on two occasions.

But Atkins ended any thoughts of a miracle rally when she beat the shot clock with a corner 3-pointer as she was fouled by Epiphanny Prince. The ensuing free throw made it 78-62 with 4:21 left, and the game's remainder was a race to the final horn.

--Field Level Media
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