Storm’s offensive explosion leads to an easy 97-74 win over Mercury

For the first time in three games, it was the Seattle Storm who had a hot shooting quarter that was  the catalyst to a  win.  Seattle’s second-quarter run fueled its offensive prowess, claiming a 97-74 victory against Phoenix, its largest win of the season.

Seattle started out red-hot on the offensive end. The Storm went 15-of-35 from the field in the first half with 18 points coming from beyond the arc.

BIG RUN IN THE SECOND QUARTER

Midway through the second quarter, the Storm took off on a 12-3 run, clinching double figures lead for the first time in the game. Points came in from a variety of starters, with the league’s top scorer, Jewell Loyd, leading the charge with a team-high 24 points. The vet sh​​ot 50% from the three-point range and 100% from the line.

GAME NOTES

Ezi Magbegor made her 100th career assist with 2:40 remaining in the third quarter. Magbegor dished the ball over to Loyd in the left corner for three. Magbegor tallied 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal by the end of the night.

Off the bench, players joined in on the scoring party, combining for 36 of Seattle’s total 97 points. Joyner Holmes logged a season-high 12-points, just one point short of her career-high. Joyner saw the floor for just over 25 minutes, her most in a Storm uniform. Holmes tacked on five rebounds, a pair of assists, three blocks and a steal.

Their  Storm defensive efforts played a role in the win .  Off the glass Seattle outrebounded its opponent, 33-28. Seattle held Phoenix to 23.5% from deep, their second lowest percentage of the 2023 season.

The Mercury’s starting small forward Sophie Cunningham tallied three points, a player who carried Phoenix with 21-points the last time the two faced off on Jun. 13. Cunningham didn’t see the floor for the second half after a back injury in the first.

The Storm forced 21 turnovers and collected 25 points off the Mercury’s errors. Seattle’s lead stretched through the first half, allowing for a 15-point advantage at halftime.

But Seattle wasn’t done just yet. The Storm returned from the half with a scoring hunger, eager to get another win against Phoenix under their belt.

Back-to-back third quarter threes lit a fire under Loyd, igniting the Storm’s second-half offense. Sami Whitcomb started cooking off the bench. She notched 14 points by the end of the matchup, all of which poured in from behind the arc.

Yvonne Turner was another player off the bench with an impressive performance. The vet collected six points, three assists and a pair of steals.

Seattle welcomes BG with open arms

Saturday’s contest was Brittney Griner’s first time back in Seattle since the Mercury emerged victorious in a playoff game on Sept. 26. 2021 at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett.

A standing ovation rang through the crowd once Griner’s name was read in Phoenix’s opening lineup. “We love you Brittney” chants echoed here and there throughout the matchup.

The Mercury’s starting big logged 11 points, six rebounds, a pair of assists and blocks. Moriah Jefferson recorded a team-high 18 points for the Mercury.

Seattle will face the Mercury next on Aug. 5 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ.

Up Next

The Storm will travel to Minneapolis, MN to face the Lynx on Jun. 27. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at Target Center and will be broadcasted on FOX 13+, CBSSN and available for streaming on Prime Video.

TEAM1234FINALHIGH PTSHIGH REBHIGH AST
PHOENIX1519231774M. Jefferson, 18B. Griner, 6S. Sutton, 7
SEATTLE1930232597J. Loyd, 24J. Loyd, 7K. Nurse, 4

STORY OF THE GAME

  • Seattle broke open a close game with a 9-1 run over a two-minute span early in the second quarter and blew the game open by outscoring Phoenix 30-19 in the second en route to a 97-74 victory over its rival.
  • Seattle scored its most points in the second quarter of a game this season with connecting on 10-of-19 from the field including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc, while holding the Mercury to only 19 points.

KEY STATS OF THE GAME

  • The Storm forced 21 Phoenix turnovers and scored 25 points off their miscues, while turning the ball over just 11 times.
  • The Storm bench scored a season-high 36 points led by Sami Whitcomb (14) and Joyner Holmes (12). Seattle’s starters shot 22-of-44 from the field in the game while the bench connected on 10-of-24.

STORM HIGHLIGHTS

  • Jewell Loyd finished with a game-high 24 points, marking her eighth game with 20+ points in the season—tied for the most in the W this year. She added seven rebounds, four steals and three assists.
  • Ezi Magbegor tacked on 15 points and five rebounds, while picking up her 100th career assist with a dish to Loyd at the 2:40 mark in the third quarter.
  • Holmes came off the bench to tally 12 points—just one shy of tying her career-high—six rebounds, two assists, and a career-high three blocks in 26 minutes. She entered the game with just eight career blocks before collected three in the game today. Holmes became just the fourth player in WNBA history with 12+ pts, 2+ 3pt FG, 3+ blk, 3+ reb, 2+ ast, and 1+ stl off the bench in a game. (Elena Baranova, 2003, Amber Harris, 2013, Elena Delle Donne, 2014)
  • Whitcomb had another solid game against the Mercury, hitting four three-pointers and a pair of free throws to account for her 14 points. Of her 20 made threes this season, 10 have come against Phoenix.

MERCURY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Brittney Griner, in her first game in Seattle since the 2021 playoffs, had 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting plus six rebounds in 20 minutes.
  • Moriah Jefferson came off the bench to lead the Mercury with 15 points.
  • Diana Taurasi, who went scoreless against Seattle when the teams played on June 13, added 13 points.

NEXT GAME

Seattle heads out on a quick trip to face the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday, June 27, at 7:00 p.m. CT (5:00 p.m. PT) at Target Center. The game will be broadcast on FOX 13+ and CBSSN and streamed on Prime Video (WA).

FORCE4CHANGE – 2023 INITIATIVES

For the fourth-straight year, the Storm’s social justice platform Force4Change is teaming up with select partners to help raise money to support organizations and individuals that promote racial, social and civic justice in the Puget Sound area and around the nation. These four “Stats For Youth” initiatives see each partner make a donation tied to select stats from each Storm game (home and away). These donations go to a non-profit organization which aligns with the Force4Change mission.

Fans can follow the progress of each initiative on the Storm’s social media channels and the Storm website all season. 

Free Throws for the Future presented by Alaska Airlines

For every free throw made by the Storm, Alaska donates 2,000 airline miles to Summer Search—a nonprofit that seeks to provide guidance and mentoring to kids transitioning from high school to post-secondary education.

STORM FTS MADE – 201 | MILES DONATED – 402,000

Community Assist presented by BECU

For every 50 assists, the Storm and BECU will make a $1,000 contribution to Young Women Empowered (Y-WE)—an organization that develops leadership, environmental, tech and wellness training to diverse female youth in Seattle.

STORM ASSISTS – 216 | MONEY DONATED – $4,000

3’s for Treehouse presented by Carter Subaru

For every 3-pointer made, the Storm and Carter Subaru will donate $50 to Treehouse—a non-profit serving youth in foster care. In addition, the two will team up to provide unique experiences to the youth attending the institution.

STORM 3-PT FG – 115 | MONEY DONATED – $5,750

The Blockchain presented by Coinbase

Coinbase and the Storm will donate $70 for each Storm block to TechBridge Girls—a nonprofit that uses technology to expand the impact of other nonprofits under four pillars: Hunger Relief, Homeless Support, Social Justice, and Workforce Development.

STORM BLOCKS – 68 | MONEY DONATED – $4,760

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