The Seattle Storm aim to snap a two-game slide on Sunday when they host the Atlanta Dream.
Seattle (17-10) is coming off a 98-74 loss to the Phoenix Mercury on Friday.
That game marked what likely will be the final matchup between the Storm’s Sue Bird and Mercury’s Diana Taurasi.
Bird, 41, has announced that this season will be her last, while fellow former UConn star Taurasi figures to play in 2023.
Bird had two points and five assists on Friday, while Taurasi collected 28 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in the win for the Mercury. They won a national championship together at UConn in 2002.
“There was no extra anything on this,” Bird told ESPN. “I think of this as another game in the story of our WNBA like, quote, unquote, rivalry. And I think of it more as just a celebration. … Maybe this is one of those moments where in a couple years, you talk about the last one — although I have a feeling I’m not going to talk about this.”
It was the second straight loss for the Storm, who dropped a 78-74 decision to the first-place Chicago Sky on Wednesday.
The Dream (12-15) also are coming off a loss, dropping an 85-78 decision to the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday. Aari McDonald and Tiffany Hayes each scored 18 points and rookie Rhyne Howard added 10 points and nine boards.
Howard is averaging 14.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game this season. She is competing with Washington Mystics center Shakira Austin in the Rookie of the Year race.
Howard told USA Today recently that the biggest adjustment from her college days at Kentucky to the pro game has been the physicality.
“Teams have definitely started keying on me and started roughing me up, taking me out of my game,” Howard said. “So just learning how to adjust that within the game.”
–Field Level Media