By Wyatt Yearout
The Seattle Storm took down the Los Angeles Sparks 88-63 at the STAPLES Center to secure its sixth win of the year and first win in Los Angeles since the 2015 season.
Seattle’s offense featured very balanced scoring, with four players scoring in double figures and all but one player contributing points.
Alysha Clark led the way for the Storm with a season-high 17 points. Breanna Stewart and Natasha Howard each chipped in 16 points and Jewell Loyd tallied 10 points in just 22 minutes of action.
The Storm limited the Sparks to just 37.3 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from three-point land as well as a season-low 63 points for the game.
Seattle began the game aggressive out the gate and ended the opening period on a 15-4 run to take a 15 point lead after one. The Storm held the Sparks to just nine first quarter points while Seattle notched 24 points on 50 percent shooting.
Los Angeles was able to get their offense going in the second period, but Seattle was able to maintain a small cushion and take a nine point lead into half. Seattle had 11 assists leading to 14 field goals through two quarters.
The Storm kept its foot on the gas pedal in the second half, scoring 31 points in the third period including 12 from Clark to take a 73-53 lead into the fourth quarter. Seattle limited the Sparks to just 10 points in the final period as they went on to win by 25.
Although the Storm was incredibly efficient on the offensive end, making 31 field goals on 22 assists, coach Dan Hughes was most pleased with his team’s effort on the defensive end.
“I would say defensively, it was our best game. It was a good example of how one end of the court impacts the other end of the court. But defensively we just seemed really focused, really active and locked in.”
- Clark’s 17 points came on 4-for-5 shooting, including an 8-for-8 effort from the charity stripe. Her eight made free throws marks a career-high for free throws made. Her previous high was seven free throws, achieved two times in her career.
- Storm veteran Sue Bird dished out a game-high eight assists. She’s registered five or more dimes in five of the Storm’s seven games in 2018.
- Howard just missed her second double-double of the season with 16 points and nine rebounds. She has now scored in double figures in six games this season.
- Rookie guard and former UCLA standout Jordin Canada made her return to Los Angeles tonight, scoring four points and totaling four dimes.
- A shot-blocking machine, Howard posted three rejections in tonight’s win. She now has 15 for the season.
- Loyd saw her consecutive free throw streak end at 37 consecutive makes, a career high for the fourth-year player out of Notre Dame. She is now 36-for-37 on the season. The WNBA’s all-time record is 66 by Eva Nemcova, who accomplished the feat between the 1999-2000 seasons while playing for the Cleveland Rockers.
Seattle returns to KeyArena for its next matchup on Sunday against the Atlanta Dream.