Thursday, May 26 – 7 p.m. PT
KeyArena | Seattle, WA
JOEtv; WNBA League Pass
Washington is tied at the bottom of the Eastern Conference at 1-3, but the Mystics are coming off an overtime win at Connecticut last Saturday. They dropped their first three games of the season for the first time since 2007. The Storm (1-2) is currently fourth in the West and tied for seventh in the league’s overall standings after losing to Minnesota last Sunday.
Seattle leads the all-time series 17-12, including victories in eight of the last 10 matchups. The Mystics haven’t won at KeyArena since 2005. Last season, the two clubs split their season series 1-1, with the home team winning each game.
Three games into the season, Seattle has several players among the WNBA leaders in the main offensive categories. Rookie forward Breanna Stewart is fourth in the league with 10.7 rebounds per game, and she is also averaging a double-double with 17 points per game. Sue Bird is tied for seventh in the WNBA with 4.7 assists per game, while Jewell Loyd ranks fifth with 21.3 points per contest. Loyd and Stewart are second and fourth in the league in minutes per game with averages of 35.3 and 35.0, respectively. Here is where Stewart ranks among rookies: first in points (17), first in rebounds (10.7), third in assists (2.7), fourth in steals (1.3) and second in blocks (1.0).
Turnovers have been a problem for both the Storm and Mystics thus far, as the two teams rank first and second in turnovers per game, respectively. Seattle has reduced its amount of miscues each time it takes the floor after starting the season with 26 turnovers at Los Angeles.
Alysha Clark led the Storm with a career-high 20 points last game, finishing 7-of-13 from the field. On defense, she spent much of the game on Minnesota’s best player, Maya Moore. If she does the same on Thursday, Clark would be tasked with shutting down Tayler Hill, who leads Washington with 18 points per game. The No. 4 pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft, Hill notched career highs with 24 points and seven assists in her last game.
- Mystics guard Ivory Latta missed the team’s first four games while recovering from offseason knee surgery but could play Thursday. A two-time All-Star, Latta has led Washington in scoring every year since she joined the team in 2013.
- Storm coach Jenny Boucek said there’s a good chance forward Jenna O’Hea will make her season debut Thursday. O’Hea missed the first game of the year due to concluding overseas commitments, and she sat out the previous two to rest. O’Hea just won a championship in France with Lattes Montpiellar, helping her team to victory in the series-clinching game three on May 15.
- New Mystics guard Jamie Weisner, who was born in Spokane and raised in Clarkston, Wash., could make her debut for Washington in Seattle. A product of Oregon State, Weisner was drafted by Connecticut this year but waived before the season. She was named Pac-12 Player of the Year as a senior after averaging 17.3 points per game for the conference champion Beavers.
- Boucek joined the Mystics as an assistant in 1999 for her very first coaching job in the league. Now in her fifth season as a WNBA head coach and second with the Storm, Boucek was an assistant in Seattle from 2003-05 and 2010-14, helping the franchise win both of its championships.