Allie Quigley had 18 points and Emma Meesseman added 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Chicago Sky became the first team to clinch a playoff spot with a 78-74 victory Wednesday afternoon against the visiting Seattle Storm.
It was the fifth straight victory for the defending champions and ended a four-game winning streak by the Storm.
Kahleah Copper added 11 points and eight rebounds and Candace Parker chipped in 10 points and eight boards as league-leading Chicago (20-6) secured its fourth consecutive playoff berth with an eighth straight home win.
Breanna Stewart had 24 points and Jewell Loyd added 18 for Seattle (17-9), which couldn’t hold an early 10-point lead.
Chicago led 61-54 after Quigley knocked down her third 3 with 8:29 remaining in the fourth. The lead swelled to 67-57 but Seattle wouldn’t go away as Stewart and Loyd combined for 20 of the team’s 22 points in the period.
The Storm got within 74-72 on Stewart’s bucket with 2:08 remaining. However, Meesseman’s reverse layup with 1:10 left and two late free throws by Copper kept Chicago ahead for good.
Tina Charles scored 11 points off the bench for Seattle.
Down six in the opening seconds of the second half, Seattle got five straight points from Stewart, and eventually tied it at 39-39 on Sue Bird’s 3-pointer. Chicago scored the next seven and held a 56-52 lead after three quarters.
Stewart opened the game with a 3, and Seattle scored the day’s first seven points. The Storm pushed their lead to 14-4, but Dana Evans canned a trey of her own during the Sky’s 13-0 surge. Seattle’s Stephanie Talbot made a late layup to send the teams into the second quarter tied at 19-19.
Chicago scored the first five points of the second quarter and led 30-21 after buckets from reserves Rebekah Gardner, Evans and Parker. Loyd then scored seven of the game’s next 13 points to get the Storm within two, but Chicago took a 35-31 lead into the break.
–Field Level Media