The Seattle Storm picked up another big win Friday against the Connecticut Sun, handing the Sun their third straight loss in an 103-92 victory.
Breanna Stewart nearly had a double-double, scoring 23 points and grabbing nine rebounds, while Natasha Howard had a team-high 25 points. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis also delivered 18 points off the bench to make up for inefficient performances by Sue Bird and Jewell Loyd, who combined to shoot 6-of-25.
Although the Sun only shot 8-of-26 from beyond the arc, they had a lot of success inside. Chiney Ogwumike had 30 points on 13-of-16 shooting, while Jasmine Thomas poured in 29 points.
The Seattle Storm earned their biggest win of the season Thursday night against the Los Angeles Sparks, sweeping the Sparks aside 88-63 on the road.
Alysha Clark had a team-high 17 points, while Natasha Howard and Breanna Stewart chipped in with 16 points apiece. Jewell Loyd’s 10 points tied her season low, but that mattered little toward the final result.
The Seattle Storm moved to 3-1 on the weekend with wins over the Chicago Sky and Las Vegas Aces.
Seattle outscored Chicago 25-14 in the fourth quarter Friday night to force overtime and eventually prevail 95-91. The Storm’s game against the Aces was the direct inverse, as they found themselves trying to protect a late lead against a surging Vegas squad. The Storm held on for a 105-98 victory despite giving up 63 points in the second half.
The Seattle Storm earned their first win of the 2018 season Wednesday night against the Phoenix Mercury, beating the Mercury 87-71 on the road.
Jewell Loyd was the game’s leading scorer, dropping 29 points on 9-of-14 shooting. She was also a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe. Loyd’s big night helped offset an uneven performance from Breanna Stewart, who narrowly missed out on a double-double (nine points, 11 rebounds) but had four turnovers and shot 3-of-12.
Defensively, the Storm did well to limit Phoenix’s supporting cast. Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi had 18 and 23 points, respectively, but DeWanna Bonner (nine points) was the team’s next-highest scorer.
The Seattle Storm opened their 2018 WNBA season with an 87-82 defeat to the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday night in a game that offered reasons for optimism while also serving as a reminder of the team’s flaws.
Breanna Stewart filled up the stat sheet with 22 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks. Jordin Canada had a nice WNBA debut, finishing with nine points, one assist and four steals. Jewell Loyd struggled to get going, though, shooting 3-of-11 from the field to score 10 points.
The Storm had an opportunity to force overtime late in the fourth quarter. They inbounded the ball down 85-82 with 3.2 seconds remaining in regulation, but Stewart stepped out of bounds to give the ball back to Phoenix and extinguish any comeback attempt.
A little over eight months after their 2017 season ended at the hands of the Phoenix Mercury, the Seattle Storm will open their 2018 campaign at home May 20 against Phoenix.
Before that, the Storm and Mercury will meet twice for a pair of preseason games in May.
To some extent, Seattle’s disappointing first-round playoff exit may benefit the team this year. The Storm could be the biggest post-hype sleeper in the WNBA.
Mechelle Voepel of espnW.com and Brian Martin of WNBA.com both listed Seattle at No. 5 in their preseason power rankings in 2017. Expectations were high, and the Storm got fans even more excited with a 4-1 start to the regular season. Then came a humbling 100-77 defeat to the Minnesota Lynx at KeyArena, and things were never the same for Seattle.
As if the Seattle Storm hadn’t already indicated this offseason they want to make a deep playoff run in 2018, they acquired Natasha Howard on Wednesday in a trade with the Minnesota Lynx.
“We are excited to welcome Natasha to the Storm family,” head coach Dan Hughes said in a statement about the trade on the Storm’s website. “She brings a very athletic, mobile interior package; she runs the floor, actively rebounds, is a dynamic scorer and athletic defender. Natasha has continued to develop her skills on a Minnesota team that defined success in the WNBA over the past few years and is ready for the opportunity to be a successful part of our future.”
The simple act of trading for a role player who helped win the Lynx win a title in 2017 shows where Seattle’s priorities lie ahead of the upcoming season. One aspect of the deal in particular distilled how confident the coaching staff and front office is. In addition to giving Minnesota a 2018 second-round pick, the Lynx will have the opportunity to swap first-rounders with the Storm in 2019.