Stewart Records Third Straight 20-Point Game; Seattle’s Record Stands at 5-9
SEATTLE – Rookie forward Breanna Stewart tied her season high with 29 points, and the Seattle Storm snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating the Connecticut Sun 98-81 on Friday at KeyArena. Stewart also recorded nine rebounds, six assists, three steals and three blocks as the Storm improved to 5-9 on the season.
Since the opening minutes of the first quarter, the Storm held a double-digit lead the entire game. Seattle shot 61.4 percent from the floor Friday night – its highest field-goal percentage of the season – while holding Connecticut to 37.6 percent. Stewart reached 20 points for the third consecutive game, while three other Storm starters scored at least 15. Sue Bird and Jewell Loyd finished with 19 apiece, while Crystal Langhorne had 15. It marked the 10th game out of 14 in which four Storm players reached double figures.
Stewart, now averaging 26.3 points on 64.9 percent shooting in her last three games, tied yet another franchise rookie record in Friday night’s game. By making five shots from beyond the arc – all of them came in the first half – Stewart tied the record for three-pointers in a game.
With the victory, Seattle takes the season series between the teams by finishing 2-1 against the Sun.
Seattle scored the first 10 points of the game Friday night, including a pair of three-pointers from Stewart, until Alyssa Thomas got the Sun on the board three minutes into the contest. Stewart’s first four shots were jumpers – including three from beyond the arc – and she made all four of them to help the Storm take a 30-16 lead after one quarter. Seattle shot 13-of-17 en route to its second-highest scoring quarter of the season.
The Storm cooled off to start the second period, but once Stewart and Loyd re-entered the game at the 7:48 mark, Seattle started to pick up the pace. Stewart made two more shots from long distance shortly after checking in, and the reigning Rookie of the Month finished with 19 points in the first half.
It wasn’t just Stewart – collectively the Storm made 8-of-12 three-pointers in the first half. The Sun, on the other hand shot just 3-for-16 from deep in the half as Seattle took a 56-37 lead into the locker room. It was the Storm’s highest-scoring half of the season, as the club shot 70 percent from the field. Bird was a major reason for the scoring outburst, as she dished out seven first-half assists with zero turnovers.
The Sun reduced its deficit to 15 early in the third quarter, but a Langhorne layup made it a 20-point lead once again midway through the period. Stewart finally missed a three-pointer, yet she continued to score in a variety of ways, going 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the quarter. Rookie Morgan Tuck, a former college teammate of Stewart, guided the Sun on an 8-0 run to trim the margin to 11 late in the quarter.
Stewart showed off her passing ability in the final period, finding Langhorne for back-to-back layups and then another one to Loyd to help Seattle increase its advantage to 20 again.
The Sun (3-11) was led by guard Alex Bentley, who scored a team-high 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting.
On Tuesday at 7 p.m., Seattle hosts the Atlanta Dream in the first matchup of the season between the teams.