A defiant Seattle Storm team continued the good fight against the Eastern Conference-leading Connecticut Sun for most of the night Tuesday at Climate Pledge Arena. Jewell Loyd scored 33 points, Ezi Magbegor and Jordan Horston both recorded double-doubles. Magbegor had 13 points and 11 rebounds for her fifth of the year and eighth of her career. Rookie forward Horston, coming off the bench, had the same numbers, but in reverse order – 11 points and 13 boards – for her second. A horrific third quarter in which they made three of 17 shots from the floor was the home team’s demise.
GOOD START TO THE GAME
A slow start to the game saw the Storm chase the Sun in the first quarter down 16-9 halfway through the quarter. A 16-4 run to end the quarter saw the Storm finish with a 25-22 lead. Jewell Loyd had 14 of the Storms’ 25 points. A resilient Sun team found its shooting touch and managed to climb back on top halfway through the second quarter at 25-34. The Storm answered with a 13-2 run to regain the lead. When the whistle sounded to signal the halftime break the Storm were clinging to a three-point lead at 48-45.
Stagnant off-ball movement on the offensive end produced rush shots, sloppy passing, and players too far away from the basket to grab a rebound. With the Storm struggling offensively the Sun went to work. Guard Natisha Hiedeman scored a team-high 10 points in the quarter. The Sun as a team made 7 of 14 shots, The Storm on the other hand shot a dismal 17.6 % and were outrebounded 14-4.
Despite the poor shooting 3rd quarter, the Storm continued to chip away at the lead. Up-tempo movements on both ends of the floor saw the Storm whittle the Sun lead to five points at 82-77 with 44.3 seconds to go. DaWonna Bonner effectively sealed the deal for Connecticut when she nailed a fall-away 3-pointer from the right corner on Thomas’ 12thassist, making it 85-77 with just 26.1 seconds to go. Bonner led the Sun with 20 points.
STORY OF THE GAME
- Connecticut broke open what had been a close game through the first half, outscoring the Storm 22-8 run in the third quarter and leading 79-61 with 5:45 remaining in the game. The Storm managed to cut Connecticut’s lead down to five with over a minute to go, but could get no closer.
KEY STATS OF THE GAME
- Turnovers hurt Seattle in the process as the team committed 17 total allowing 20 of its miscues while scoring only 12 off of Connecticut’s 14.
- Jewell Loyd, who was named the Western Conference Player of the Week earlier today, finished with 33 points, giving her back-to-back 30+ point games for the first time in her career. Loyd joins Lauren Jackson and Breanna Stewart as the only Storm players to record back-to-back 30+ point games.
- In addition to her 33-point game-high, Loyd contributed four assists, three steals, and two rebounds. She also connected on six three-pointers to give her 36 for the season, tying her for the league lead and marking the third-most made three-pointers through a player’s first 10 games in WNBA history.
- Two Storm players tallied double-doubles: Ezi Magbegor and Jordan Horston. It was just the 15th time in franchise history two players recorded double-doubles and just the third which didn’t involve Lauren Jackson or Breanna Stewart.
- Magbegor’s double-double was her fifth of the season as she notched 13 points and 11 rebounds along with a pair of steals, one block, and an assist.
- Horston came off the bench to score 11 points with 13 rebounds becoming the fourth Storm player to tally multiple double-doubles in their rookie season.
- Alyssa Thomas recorded her third career triple-double and first of the season with 13 points, 15 rebounds, and 12 assists. It was the 17th WNBA triple-double all-time as Thomas became only the second player to log a triple-double against the Storm after Sheryl Swoopes’ 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in 2005.
- All five Connecticut starters scored in double-figures led by DeWanna Bonner’s 20 points.
Seattle hosts the Indiana Fever on Thursday, June 20, at Climate Pledge Arena. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. The game is broadcast on FOX 13+ and NBA TV, and streamed on Prime Video in Washington state.