A determined and focused Breanna Stewart set the tone in the first quarter and led the New York Liberty to an 81-66 win over the Seattle Storm. Stewart scored the first four points of the game on her way to a 14-point quarter that saw the visitors lead 26-14.
SET THE TONE
Slow starts, early turnovers, and slow to react on both ends of the court have plagued the Storm all season and Sunday against the Liberty was no different. Slow reactions to ball side screens, switches, and lack of execution on the offensive end saw the Liberty shoot a whopping 61 % (11-18 ) from the field. On the opposite end of the spectrum was the Storm who shot a merge 33% and made a ( 6-18 ) shot. Jordan Horston saw her first action in three games due to a shoulder injury at the 3:26 mark of the first quarter. While she was active on the defensive end Horston was rusty on the offensive.
BACK IN THE GAME
The Storm found some rhythm on both ends of the court in the second quarter. On the defensive end, the Storm limited the Liberty to 18 points and scored 13 points in the quarter. While the net result was just minus five points for the quarter, the Storm went into the halftime break down 44 to 27 due to the disastrous slow start.
HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS ARE NOT ENOUGH
Halftime adjustments of pushing the ball up in transition and early recognition of ball screens saw the Storm outscore the Liberty 21-20 in the third quarter. The Storm narrowed the deficit to 13 several times but could not get any closer and trailed 68-48 heading into the fourth.
An 8-2 run to the start of the fourth quarter saw the Storm narrow the lead to just nine points on a three-point basket by Jewell Loyd at 57-66 with 6:31 left in the fourth quarter. Slow ball rotation on the offensive end and poor shot selection saw the Liberty outscore the Storm 15-9 the rest of the quarter to seal the win.
The team has to find a way to be ready to play when the whistle blows. Too many slow starts has the team chasing opponents which is causing tired legs in the third and fourth quarter. This is a player issue. That is to say, players must hold each other accountable in a loving but firm manner.
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POST GAME NOTES
BY THE NUMBERS
— Ezi Magbegor’s 12-point outing was her eighth straight double-digit game and 14th in the last 15 games.
— Rookie Jordan Horston returned to action after missing three straight games with a right shoulder injury. She did not score, but did have three assists and two rebounds in 17 minutes.
–With 10 points, Sami Whitcomb logged her fourth straight double-digit game, the second-longest stretch of her career. It was her 200th WNBA contest, 144 of which have been with Seattle.
–Turnovers once again were costly for the Storm. They had 20, leading to 19 New York points. They had 19 turnovers in Thursday’s 99-97 overtime loss to Minnesota, which the Lynx converted into 15 points.
— New York hit 10 more field goals than the Storm, 33 of 71 (46.5 percent). Seattle was 23 of 65 (35.4 percent).
— The Liberty’s Courtney Vandersloot, a product of Kentwood High School just southeast of Seattle, had a double-double of 18 points and 12 assists. New York, which averages a league-leading 23.8 assists per game, had 30 on 33 baskets.
After 11 home games in the first six weeks of the season, the Storm head out for their first extended road trip, with four games in a span of seven days. The first of those is Thursday, July 6, at Connecticut, tipping off at 4:00 p.m. Pacific time (Fox 13 and streaming on Prime Video).
—— StormBasketball.com ——
|TEAM||1||2||3||4||FINAL||HIGH PTS||HIGH REB||HIGH AST|
|NEW YORK||26||17||20||17||81||B. Stewart, 20||B. Stewart, 8||C. Vandersloot, 12|
|SEATTLE||14||13||21||18||66||J. Loyd, 27||E. Magbegor, 9||E. Magbegor, 4|
STORY OF THE GAME
KEY STATS OF THE GAME
The Storm goes on a road trip for a series of four games against Eastern Conference teams, starting July 6th vs Connecticut at Mohegan Sun Arena. Fans can watch locally on FOX 13 and stream on Amazon Prime Video.