SEATTLE — Saturday’s 90-75 loss to the Chicago Sky was the ninth consecutive for the Seattle Storm, breaking the franchise record of eight set during the Storm’s expansion year in 2000.

“It’s weighing on me, so I know it’s weighing on them,” Seattle coach Noelle Quinn said. “We’ve taken away the mindset of ‘We have to get this win.’ It’s not our day-to-day goal, that’s not our tangible goal.

“Our tangible goals: Are we getting better each and every day? Are we sticking to what’s given us success statistically? Are we rebounding? Are we taking care of the ball? Those are our tangible goals. Based on those, that’s going to indicate are we moving in the right direction or not.”

The losing streak dates back to a loss at Minnesota on June 27, but Seattle has been competitive in that span. The defeats piled up on a four-game road trip ahead of the All-Star break. Among the nine losses are an overtime one at home to the Lynx and a four-point setback at the New York Liberty.

After testing the league-leading Las Vegas Aces in a 79-63 defeat on Thursday, the Storm took a step back two nights later. Seattle gave up 15 offensive rebounds in the first half and fell behind by as many as 23 points before halftime. It was the third game in a row, and the sixth out of nine during the losing streak, where the Storm have trailed by double-digits after one quarter.

A second-half surge with Sami Whitcomb starting the third quarter at point guard for Seattle in place of rookie Ivana Dojkic never seriously threatened the Sky, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

“Part of our growth and our goals is that every single day we get 1 percent better and we didn’t today,” Quinn said. “So that is disappointing to know that we played so strongly against a top team and we came out and we don’t play as strong against a team that is very similar to us in a lot of ways statistically.”

Storm All-Star Ezi Magbegor, who led the team with 14 points, struck a similar tone, agreeing that the losing streak was weighing on her.

“We haven’t played Chicago before and we knew it was going to be a tough matchup playing them for the first time,” Magbegor said, “but I think it was a time for us to just regroup and get back together and play how we know we can play. I don’t think that was the case tonight.”

Since being chosen MVP of the All-Star Game behind her record 31 points, Seattle guard Jewell Loyd has been unable to maintain her league-leading scoring average of 25.6 PPG entering the break as defenses sell out to stop her. Loyd had 12 points on 2-of-11 shooting Saturday, giving her 24 points in the past two games.

After two contests at home, the Storm head back on the road for a three-game trip starting Tuesday against the Liberty before a rematch Friday in Chicago.

Seattle’s losing streak is already the longest for a WNBA team this season (the Los Angeles Sparks have lost their past eight games, also a franchise record).

Still, Quinn believes focusing on the result of getting a win instead of the steps to get there will make it harder for the Storm to end the streak.

“Yes, losing weighs heavily on everyone at some point,” Quinn said, “but the thing that we shouldn’t think about is that in numbers but the things that are tangible, are we sticking to those, are we completing those tasks?”


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