The Morning After: Hollywood Divorce

When you draw the Chennedy Carter assignment

The Seattle Storm hanged on to beat the Atlanta Dream 93-92 on Thursday night, and one rookie has the WNBA abuzz coming out of the game.

Yes, Ezi Magbegor hit the first three-pointer of her WNBA career, leaving her only 1,116 short of breaking Diana Taurasi’s all-time record. With as quickly as Ezi is progressing, don’t be surprised if she surpasses that mark by her fourth season.

Breanna Stewart had a team-high 27 points and eight rebounds in the victory, while Jewell Loyd chipped in 20 points in what was a shaky shooting night.

The Storm simply didn’t have a solution for Chennedy Carter, who finished with 35 points. The Dream guard is undoubtedly the favorite to finish runner-up to Ezi in the 2020 Rookie of the Year race.

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The Morning After: ‘A Good Day’

The Seattle Storm improved to 2-0 with a comprehensive 90-66 win over the Minnesota Lynx.

Seattle took control in the third quarter, outscoring Minnesota 28-17.

Breanna Stewart posted her first double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) of the young season. Sue Bird (16 points) was the only other player to score in double figures. Everybody who saw the court for Seattle made at least one field goal to underscore what was a balanced offensive showing.

The Lynx didn’t have that luxury, partially due to injuries. Karima Christmas-Kelly (ankle) and Lexie Brown (head) both left the game before it concluded.

Napheesa Collier, Damiris Dantas and Sylvia Fowles combined for 44 points, but Minnesota’s support beyond that was lacking.

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The Morning After: Bigger Than Before

The Seattle Storm opened the 2020 WNBA season with an 87-71 victory over the New York Liberty on Saturday.

Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird returned to the starting lineup after missing all of 2019. The WNBA also welcomed one of the most heavily hyped rookies in recent memory: Ezi Magbegor. Morgan Tuck’s Storm debut will have to wait as a knee injury kept her on the bench for the entirety of the 40 minutes.

In what might become the norm for her given her supporting cast, Sabrina Ionescu filled up the stat sheet but had a day to forget in her WNBA introduction. The Liberty as a team shot 34.8 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from beyond the arc.

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The Morning After: A Nice Victory

Alysha Clark Jazz HandsThe Seattle Storm somehow held on to a 69-66 win over the Las Vegas Aces on Friday night.

Seattle won despite shooting just 27.8 percent from the floor, though the team owned a 12-point advantage in three-point shooting. The Storm also forced 21 turnovers, which generated 22 points. Their 18 steals were a franchise record.

Natasha Howard was the game’s leading scorer (21 points), while Sami Whitcomb rode a hot first quarter to a 14-point outing.

Liz Cambage posted a double-double (16 points, 14 rebounds) for the Aces. Kelsey Plum didn’t enjoy her return to Hec Edmundson Pavilion, shooting 3-of-11 for 10 points.

With Friday’s victory, the Storm (12-8) move up to fourth in the WNBA standings.

 

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The Morning After: Whew!

Sami InterviewThe Seattle Storm nearly threw away a 21-point lead Wednesday night against the Minnesota Lynx before holding on for a 90-79 victory.

Seattle fended off Minnesota’s late charge, scoring 10 unanswered points in the final three minutes to earn its 11th win and move to fourth in the WNBA standings.

Natasha Howard had a career-high 33 points and was one of four Storm starters to score in double figures. Sami Whitcomb shot 5-of-11 from beyond the arc en route to a 15-point night and added eight assists.

Lexie Brown was a big reason for the Lynx’s second-half turnaround as she scored a team-high 20 points. But Odyssey Sims and Napheesa Collier were a combined 5-of-23 for 13 points.

 

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The Morning After: Yikes!

Dan Hughes EjectedThe Seattle Storm slipped to .500 (8-8) following a 77-66 defeat to the Atlanta Dream at home Friday night.

Little went right for Seattle offensively until the fourth quarter. The Storm opened the game on an 11-0 run yet finished with just 24 first-half points. They shot 36.4 percent from the field and 7-of-27 from beyond the arc for the game.

Natasha Howard had a team-high 20 points but got little from the supporting cast. Jordin Canada (15 points) and Alysha Clark (12 points) were the only other Storm players to score in double figures. Nobody else had more than six points.

Tiffany Hayes led all scorers with 21 points and Elizabeth Williams nearly had a double-double (10 points, nine rebounds). The Dream improved what remains the WNBA’s worst field-goal percentage (.374) by making 42 percent of their shots.

 

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The Morning After: Third Time’s A Charm

Dolson ConfusedThe Seattle Storm now sit third in the WNBA after defeating the Chicago Sky 79-76 on Friday in Seattle.

Five different Storm players scored in double figures. Jordan Canada’s 17 points led the team, and she added six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Natasha Howard shot only 3-of-14 from the field but got to the free-throw line nine times, which helped her pour in 14 points. She was one rebound short of a double-double as well.

Diamond DeShields had a game-high 19 points but shot 0-of-5 from beyond the arc. Jantel Lavender earned a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) in the defeat.

One game separates the Storm from the second-place Washington Mystics and they’re 1.5 games off the Connecticut Sun.

 

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The Morning After: Two for Won

Sue Peekaboo
Watching the Seattle Storm like

The Seattle Storm took both games in their return home over the weekend, beating the Los Angeles Sparks 84-62 on Friday and then toppling the Indiana Fever 65-61 on Sunday.

Jewell Loyd was the leading scorer on each occasion, going off for 23 points against the Sparks and then 21 against the Fever. Loyd sank the decisive bucket Sunday, laying the ball in with 24.6 seconds remaining to give Seattle a two-point lead.Jewell Loyd Winner Fever

Natasha Howard strengthened her MVP campaign, posting 20 points and nine rebounds in the win over Los Angeles and following up with 17 points, six boards and four assists in the Storm’s seventh victory of the season.

Alysha Clark and Shavonte Zellous played pivotal roles in Sunday’s game, too. Clark had 11 points and five rebounds, while Zellous had 11 points and three assists in her second start as the Storm’s point guard.

 

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The Morning After: Reality Check

Coach Sue BirdThe Seattle Storm slipped to 5-4 with an 81-67 loss to the Connecticut Sun on Sunday.

Seattle trimmed the deficit to two points heading into the fourth quarter but ran out of gas in the final 10 minutes. Connecticut pulled away, and the score would’ve looked worse had Sami Whitcomb not connected on a three-pointer inside the final minute.

Natasha Howard had a team-high 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Jewell Loyd and Shavonte Zellous scored 15 and 14 points apiece.

Three-point shooting was a big factor in the outcome. The Storm were 3-of-13 from beyond the arc, compared to 9-of-20 for the Sun.

The trio of Shekinna Stricklen, Alyssa Thomas and Jonquel Jones powered Connecticut’s offense, combining to score 49 points on 21-of-35 shooting.

As the WNBA heads into its next week, the Storm are sixth in the standings, a half-game ahead of the Indiana Fever.

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The Morning After: Jewell B. Loydin’

KML KimbroughNot content to sweep them in the 2018 WNBA Finals, the Seattle Storm continued to torment the Washington Mystics.

The reigning champions outscored Washington 22-8 in the fourth quarter and overcame what was a seven-point deficit in the final three minutes to earn a 74-71 win Friday.

Jewell Loyd delivered the game-winner, hitting a jumper from just past the free-throw line with 7.7 seconds remaining. Loyd had 14 points, three rebounds and two assists in the victory.

Mercedes Russell had a career night, setting personal bests in points (15) and rebounds (11). Natasha Howard matched her double-double, pouring in 19 points and collecting 11 boards.

Elena Delle Donne led the Mystics with 19 points, but only four of those points came in the second half. Kristi Toliver only played 9:28 after getting two quick technical fouls.

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