With just a handful of games left in the regular season make that handful number to four, the Seattle Storm are looking like a team that is peaking at the right time. The Storm took advantage of a road-weary Lynx squad by scoring the game’s first twelve points and kept the pressure on the visitors for a momentum-building win. The win was the Storm’s sixth straight win at home and eight in its last nine games.
A sellout crowd of 13, 500 set the tone for the Storm who honored Brian January and welcomed home Storm legend Lauren Jackson. January is set to retire at the end of the season while Jackson wanted to pay tribute to basketball best friend Sue Bird who was playing her second to last regular season home game.
MVP SHOW STOPPER
As has been the case all season the majority of the Storm highlights came courtesy of Breanna Stewart who is in pole position to win her second league MVP Award.
Stewart scored a season-high 33 points and hit 13 of 20 shots from the field including 4-of -8 three-pointers, and added 8 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and one block in just a little over 31 minutes.
As good as Stewart and the rest of the team were on offense, it was team defense that kept the pressure on the Lynx and never allowed them to get back in the game. The stifling defense allowed the Storm to push the ball up the court and catch the Lynx out of position.
The numerical advantage in transition allowed the Storm to score at will.
Jewell Loyd added 17 points, five assists, and a steal while Gabby Williams tallied 13 points, six rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Sue Bird also scored in double figures with 13 points, contributing six assists, four rebounds, and a block.
All five Storm starters had at least four assists, marking just the third time in WNBA history and the second time in Storm history that had happened in a game.
The Storm came out of the gate firing, opening the game with four-straight three-pointers, connecting on one on each of its first four possessions. Seattle would extend the lead to as many as 16 in the first quarter, tallying 30 points total to take a 30-18 lead after one.
Minnesota closed to within 10 points on a pair of occasions early in the second quarter, but Seattle responded with a long 19-6 run to go up 51-28 at the 2:20 mark and took a 56-32 lead to the half.
After the Storm opened up a 29-point lead late in the third quarter, the Lynx rallied back to make the score more respectable late, closing to 15 with 6:05 to go in the game, but unable to get closer than that until a three-pointer in the closing seconds set up the final 12-point difference in the game.
Seattle closes out the home portion of the regular season on Sunday, August 7, hosting the Las Vegas Aces at Noon in an ABC game. The Storm will honour Sue Bird, who will be playing her final regular-season contest in Seattle, and will do so in front of what is expected to be the largest crowd in Storm history.
|TEAM||1||2||3||4||SCORE||RECORD||HIGH PTS||HIGH REB||HIGH AST|
|MINNESOTA||18||14||22||23||77||20-12||B. Stewart, 33||B. Stewart, 8||S. Bird, 6|
|SEATTLE||30||26||22||11||89||12-20||N. Milic, 13||Fowles/Milic, 6||N. Achonwa, 6|
STORY OF THE GAME
- The Storm cruised past the Lynx as Breanna Stewart scored a season-high 33-points in 31 minutes of play in front of a sellout crowd of 13,500 fans at Climate Pledge Arena.
- The Storm opened the game on a 12-0 run, hitting 4-for-4 from the three-point line with four of the five starters—Gabby Williams, Sue Bird, Tina Charles and Breanna Stewart—sinking treys to give the Storm a comfortable lead early on.
KEY STATS OF THE GAME
- All five of the Storm starters tallied four or more assists in the game, marking only the third time in WNBA history that has happened, and the second time the Storm starting-five has done it (7/28/17).
- The Storm matched a franchise-high with 30 fastbreak points including 26 in the first half alone.
- Breanna Stewart scored a season-high 33 points while adding eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block in 31 minutes of play. With that performance, Stewart became the fourth player in WNBA history with that stat line or better, and the only one to do it in under 32 minutes of play.
- Jewell Loyd scored 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting, scoring seven in the second quarter alone. Loyd also contributed five assists and one steal.
- Sue Bird left the court with 13 points, logging her 10th game with 10+ points this season while adding with four rebounds, six assists and one block.
- Gabby Williams was the fourth Storm player in double digits with 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting, plus six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
- Nikolina Milic led the Lynx with 13 points and six rebounds.
- Sylvia Fowles tallied 12 points, six rebounds, two blocks, one assist and one steal.
The Storm plays its final regular-season home game on Sunday, August 7, hosting Las Vegas Aces at 12:00 p.m. at Climate Pledge Arena. The game will broadcast nationally on ABC.