The Seattle Storm have been unable to take advantage of an extended stay at home.
That could change if they are able to continue their success against the New York Liberty in Seattle.
The Storm look to avoid a fourth consecutive loss Sunday night when they try for an eighth straight home victory over the Liberty.
Seattle (10-13) returned from the one-month Olympic break Aug. 16 by opening its seven-game homestand with a 72-58 win over Phoenix. Since then, the Storm have allowed an average of 78.7 points during a three-game skid. Not even the 2012 debut of star forward Lauren Jackson could help the them from falling 68-66 to Indiana on Thursday.
The Fever’s Shavonte Zellous hit a 3-pointer as time expired to drop the Storm to 6-5 at home. Seattle, which appears to have a firm grasp on the fourth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, has not dropped four straight at home since July 2006.
“We (had a) team in there that’s used to winning those games,” coach Brian Agler said. “We didn’t. We’ve got to get to a point when we’re put in those situations, either at home or on the road, that we’re making the plays we’ve got to make.”
Jackson, who missed the first half of the season while training for the Olympics with the Australian national team, was not pleased after totaling four points and six rebounds in 24 minutes against the Fever.
“I just didn’t fit in,” Jackson said. “It doesn’t help the girls with a presence like mine coming in and not knowing the plays.”
Facing the Liberty (9-14) could help Jackson round back into form. The three-time WNBA MVP has averaged 24.7 points in her last three home games versus New York.
Seattle’s seven-game home winning streak against the Liberty dates to a 67-62 loss June 26, 2004, although the last three games between the teams have been decided by a combined 10 points. The Storm held on for a 63-62 home win over the Liberty last season.
Seattle, however, committed 25 turnovers and shot 32.2 percent - including 4 for 22 from 3-point range - during a 77-59 loss at New York on June 30.
Essence Carson scored 22 points while Cappie Pondexter added 20 for the Liberty in that contest. Pondexter scored 20 points Saturday, but the Liberty were outscored 22-5 in the fourth quarter of an 87-62 loss at Los Angeles.
New York had won three of its first four - including two straight on the road - out of the Olympic break. It went 13 for 27 from beyond the arc in Thursday’s 89-77 win at Phoenix, but shot 4 of 17 from 3-point range against the Sparks.
The Liberty also committed 21 turnovers - two fewer than they’d totaled while winning their previous two games.
“Our two losses since the break have both been high-turnover games,” New York coach John Whisenant said. “When we’ve taken care of the ball, we’ve won.”
Pondexter has averaged 25.3 points in her last three contests. However, she has totaled only 28 on 32.4 percent shooting in her last two games at Seattle.