ARLINGTON, TX — The Dallas Wings were defeated 92-84 by the Seattle Storm on Thursday night. The defeat marked Dallas' sixth consecutive loss. It has been a frustrating past couple of weeks for Dallas, but the Wings did receive a promising injury update on Thursday.

Natasha Howard, who is dealing with a foot injury, is expected to return by July 1. The Wings reached the postseason in 2023, but injuries have led to underperformance so far in 2024. Perhaps Dallas will bounce back and make a competitive run as they continue to get healthy.

Natasha Howard's impact

Dallas Wings forward Natasha Howard (6) reacts during the second half against the Indiana Fever at College Park Center.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Howard, a 32-year-old veteran, plays a big role for the Wings. She is a two-time All-Star who made her debut with Dallas in 2023 after previously spending time with the Indiana Fever, Minnesota Lynx, Seattle Storm, and New York Liberty.

Howard immediately made her impact felt in 2023 after averaging 16.5 points per game on 45.8 percent field goal shooting. She added 8.0 rebounds per outing which was the second highest mark of her career.

The Wings need Howard to return. They are still without Satou Sabally as well, who may return after the Olympics in August. Getting healthy will be of the utmost importance as Dallas looks to navigate their way through the losing streak.

Wings lose vs. Storm

Dallas has struggled in recent action. It's been a difficult stretch of games. There were some positives from Thursday's defeat, however.

Once again, Arike Ogunbowale led the Wings with 24 points. The play of center Teaira McCowan has been impressive as well. She scored 19 points and added 10 rebounds.

“My confidence is through the roof,” McCowan said after the game. “That's credit to my teammates and coaching staff for getting me there.”

Still, it can become easy to lose chemistry during a slump. Kalani Brown stressed the importance of staying together despite these challenging past couple of weeks.

“It's really important to stay together at this time,” Brown said. “I know things are hard… We just keep telling each other stay together because that's what's most important. A team divided would be worse.”

One element of maintaining positive energy is preaching optimism, something head coach Latricia Trammell excels at.

“We feed off it,” Brown said of Trammell's positive energy. “That's what we need right about now. It's easy to just go into negativity and just slump, and just let people smack us. But we're not doing that. We're battling every game. That says a lot about us and our grit and our fight as a team…. Just to have our coach fighting with us, you know, when we are going it's going to be scary because we are down. But we not going to harp on that excuse.”

Looking ahead

The Wings' current three-game homestand will end after Saturday's clash against the Connecticut Sun. Connecticut holds the best record in the WNBA with an 11-1 mark, so the final game of the homestand will prove to be a challenge without question.

Dallas will then go on a four-game road trip beginning on Monday against the Minnesota Lynx. For now, the wings will focus on trying to upset the Sun at home on Saturday.