Seattle Storm look to advance to WNBA Finals with Game 5 win over Phoenix

Members of the Seattle Storm practice before Game 5 on Tuesday. (KOMO Photo)

SEATTLE -- It is do or die time for the Seattle Storm.

The Storm will battle the Phoenix Mercury at KeyArena Tuesday night in game 5 of the WNBA Semifinals. Seattle hopes to advance to the WNBA Finals for the first time in 8 years.

Storm fan Carolyn Bechtel, a season ticket holder since 2004, has never taken the plastic off of her replica of the Storm’s 2010 WNBA Championship trophy.

"So, as long as we don’t win it – the plastic stays on. So ladies, I would like to take the plastic off after 8 years please," Bechtel said.

The Storm head into Tuesday night’s semifinals match-up after two straight losses against Phoenix on the road.

"It’ll be close. But we just need to finish out the 4th quarter, which has been the problem," Bechtel said.

"I feel good. I really like Breanna Stewart. I like their team. I feel really good about their team. Sue’s the only one left from those years and I feel good about it. Positive for a victory tonight," said fan Robert Willett.

Sue Bird, who is now sporting a bruise on her face after being accidentally hit by Breanna Stewart's elbow in game 4, will wear a face mask in Tuesday night's game to protect a broken nose. It's reminiscent of the Storm’s first championship run 14 years ago.

"The thing you learn with experience is that you just can’t get caught up in the emotion of the game. You have to really stay in the moment. Really just take it one possession at a time. If things are going great, not to relax. If things are going bad, not to let it affect you negatively," Bird said after the team's practice at KeyArena on Tuesday afternoon.

"I’m not nervous. I’m actually really excited. I know it’s an important game, so just being in this atmosphere. Game 5 being at home – I’m just really excited," said teammate Jordin Canada.

Five is a magic number for Steven Hoffmire and his daughter, Allison. She's a Special Olympics athlete who’ll witness her fifth Storm game of the season on Tuesday night.

Seattle hasn't lost when she and her dad have been in the seats.

"Really excited!" Allison Hoffmire exclaimed about the game.

"Because of her, I got introduced to the WNBA, and we love it," her dad added. "I think the biggest thing is watching the excitement in my daughter. What these young women mean to her."

They’ve meant a lot to Bechtel, too.

The Storm won the 2010 WNBA Championship on what would have been her dad’s 85th birthday.

She knows he’d be smiling if they do it again.

"I can hear him. He would say ‘Oh, that’s really cool!’" Bechtel told KOMO News.

If the Seattle Storm win Tuesday night, game one of the WNBA finals will held on Friday at KeyArena.

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