If the Storm were going to keep their two-game win streak alive and the same time snap their two-game losing streak over the Minnesota Lynx, they would have to stop Lynx All-Star forward Napheesa Collier.
In the Lynx’s two wins over the Storm Collier averaged, 32 points per game and nine rebounds. In the team’s first meeting at Climate Pledge Arena on June 29th Collier scored 31 points pulled down eight rebounds and hit a turnaround buzzer-beater jumper to win the game for the visiting Lynx. Magbegor had 16pts and 16 rebounds. Game two was on June 27th at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Collier lit up the Storm for 33 and ten rebounds. Magbegor had 20pts and five rebound
Before Friday’s game, Magbegor was asked about the challenge of containing Collier.
The two All-Stars looked like they had a point to prove to the other. Collier is a bona fide 3 time WNBA All-Star Magbegor is the and coming one-time WNBA All-star. The two led their teams in scoring after the first quarter. Collier had a quarter high nine points with Magbegor right behind her with eight points. The game in the game was going according to the plan with the Storm trailing the Lynx 18 to 23.
The two-star battle took a back seat in the second when Magbegor had to stay on the Storm bench for all but 4:15 of the quarter because of foul trouble. Magbegor scored just two points in the quarter. With Magbegor on the bench, Collier seized the moment and scored 8 points to finish the half with 17 points to Magbegor’s 10. Despite Magbegor’s perceived transgressions, the Storm were within striking distance at the half down just seven points at 46-39.
BAD THIRD QUARTER
For all of their efforts, the Storm was their worst enemy in the third quarter, committing four turnovers, making just 5 of 18 shots from the field and a dismal 1 of 8 front from the three-point line. The stalled offense and self-inflicted wounds saw the quarter end, with the Storm down 14 points at 50-64. The lack of ball movement made life difficult for Magbegor to find her rhythm as the Lynx threw multiple doubles teams at her and as a result, she scored her only three points of the second half in the third quarter. Collier scored two points in the quarter and five in the fourth to finish with 24 points.
RALLY FALLS SHORT
The Storm tried to mount a substantial comeback in the fourth quarter with the hot shooting hand of Sami Whitcomb who finished with a season 23 points but were never able to get over the hump six point hump. On two occasions the Storm dwindled the Lynx’s lead to seven points but were unable to find a crucial defensive stop. The Storm did narrow the lead to six points but that was with 10.8 seconds left and back-to-back free throws by Kyla McBride iced the game for the Lynx.
Seattle held Minnesota to 78 points, keeping an opponent below 81 points for the seventh time in the last eight games.
- Seattle blocked six shots, marking the ninth time the team has blocked six or more shots this season.
- Sami Whitcomb scored a season-high 23 points, her third game with 20+ points this season and the eighth of her career. She erupted from three-point range connecting on 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, her fourth time sinking five or more from the three-point line this season and her 21ST with at least one three-pointer made. Whitcomb also dished three assists and helped with one rebound and one block.
- Jewell Loyd, who is en route to breaking the WNBA single-season scoring record, dropped 15 points, upping her double-digit scoring streak to 32, the second-largest active in the WNBA. Loyd also contributed two rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
- Ezi Magbegor tallied 13 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and a pair of blocks and assists. That marked her 26th 10+ points game this season.
|TEAM||1||2||3||4||FINAL||HIGH PTS||HIGH REB||HIGH AST|
|MINNESOTA||23||23||18||14||78||N. Collier, 24||D. Juhász, 12||3 players, 4|
|SEATTLE||18||21||11||20||70||S. Whitcomb, 23||E. Magbegor, 7||S. Whitcomb, 3|