No buzzer-beater was needed in the Seattle Storm’s ( 16-3) 103-88 win over the Minnesota Lynx( 13-6) A balanced attack that saw five separate players score in double figures was all that needed as the Storm won their fifth straight game. Add in some opportunistic defense that led to 24 Lynx turnovers and you have a complete team win due to execution on both ends of the courts.
I think we did a really good job of making things difficult for them,” head coach Gary Kloppenburg said. “We cashed in on it, we pushed the ball on the other end, got some easy baskets, and that’s what you want to do. If you’re playing pressure defense, you wanna cash those turnovers in and get points out of them.”
The Storm’s offense got out to a hot start, scoring 26 first-quarter points, shooting 55% from the field, and with every starter scoring points. Seattle was able to build a five-point lead, but let Minnesota shoot 58.3% from the field with three made shots from distance.
Seattle was able to clamp up on the defensive end in the second quarter, forcing 15 first half Minnesota turnovers and holding the Lynx to under 50% shooting. The Storm turned those turnovers into 14 points, and was taking advantage of their size in the paint, scoring 22 points.
With Natasha Howard and Breanna Stewart leading the way with 12 and 10 points, respectively, the Storm led the Lynx 45-38 at the halftime break.
The Storm continued the trend in the third quarter, going on a huge scoring run and dropping 31 points in the third frame. With four double figures scorers at the end of the quarter, Seattle held a 76-58 lead with just one quarter left.
Seattle held on after a late rally attempt from Minnesota, who scored 30 points in the last quarter. The Storm were led in scoring by Howard (19 points), Stewart (18 points), Jewell Loyd (16 points), Alysha Clark (15 points), and Ezi Magbegor (12 points).
“What I really liked offensively is that we sustained our running game,” Kloppenburg said. “We were running on turnovers, we were running on missed shots, even some made shots. If we do that, it just puts so much pressure on these teams to defend us because we have so many weapons.”
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- Minnesota’s 24 turnovers were a season-high against Seattle, beating out the Storm’s previous turnovers forced best of 23 against the New York Liberty earlier this season. Three Storm players finished with at least three steals: Natasha Howard (4), Breanna Stewart (3), and Alysha Clark (3).
- The Storm assisted on 28 of their 35 total baskets, good for 80% of their makes. Seattle currently leads the WNBA in assists per game with 21.6, and Jordin Canada and Sue Bird both rank among the league’s best in individual assists per game. Bird and Jewell Loyd co-led the Storm in assists Sunday night, with seven each.
- The Storm finished with five double-digit scorers, with Natasha Howard leading the way at 19 points. Breanna Stewart (18 points), Jewell Loyd (16 points), Alysha Clark (15 points), and Ezi Magbegor (12 points) were the others.
- Alysha Clark swiped her 200th career steal Friday night, and added two more in the win. She is averaging 1.7 steals per game this season, good for eighth in the WNBA.
- Damiris Dantas led all scorers with 22 points with shooting 58.3 percent from the field, also adding nine rebounds. Dantas led the scoring for the Lynx in both of Minnesota’s meetings with Seattle this season.
- The Lynx knocked down 12 three-pointers, shooting 46.2 percent from beyond the arc.
- Napheesa Collier grabbed four offensive rebounds, leading the way as the Lynx totaled 14 offensive boards and 14 second-chance points.