After losing a close game Wednesday, the Seattle Storm redeemed itself by pulling out a close win against the Atlanta Dream.
Crystal Langhorne was 9 for 9 from the field while scoring a season-high 20 points, leading the Storm to a 90-84 win Saturday at KeyArena. Langhorne hasn’t missed a shot in her last 18 attempts, a streak that stretches back three games.
“It’s who she is,” Storm coach Jenny Boucek said. “Consistency is her middle name.”
Langhorne is just five shots shy of Nneka Ogwumike’s WNBA record of 23 consecutive made field goals, which Ogwumike set last season. But Langhorne’s not thinking about that and is quick to mention that she’s had other games where she misses just as many as she makes.
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“It always balances out, Langhorne said, “so we’ll see how it goes.”
Langhorne came to the Storm as someone who had been a go-to player most of her life, Boucek said, whereas in Seattle her responsibility has changed.
“We don’t call many plays for Lang,” Boucek said. “(It’s) so different from what she’s grown up with, and for her to have the character to accept that, it just warms my heart that she’s getting some reward now from humbling herself and playing whatever role we need her to play.”
The only player who scored more points than Langhorne was forward Breanna Stewart with 24 points. Stewart has scored at least 20 points in each of the Storm’s past six games.
In the Storm’s last game, Seattle lost to the Connecticut Sun 83-79. Trailing by two points with 15.7 seconds left, the Storm had a chance to tie or take the lead, but Stewart was called for an offensive foul, leading to the loss.
On Saturday, the Storm controlled the final portion of the game as it went on a 21-10 run to finish the night.
“Generally speaking, we thrive off our offense,” guard Sue Bird said. “When our defense and our rebounding match that, good things happen. Today, we went on that run, so people are going to look at, ‘Oh, the points. Oh, the shots.’ I think it started more on defense.”
The Storm hit six three-pointers in the first half, but Seattle saw its double-digit lead dwindle to a two-point cushion at halftime. Then, in the first minute of the third quarter, the Dream grabbed the lead and the game remained close the rest of the way.
On June 13, the last time the Storm played Atlanta, Seattle lost 91-86 in overtime.
The ability to close games is something Boucek said it’s taken the team “awhile to figure out” this season.
“Sometimes the close games are not as much the plays at the actual end,” Boucek said. “It’s the momentum that you give up throughout games, and not playing from behind late. I thought we had a more…