Storm Records Largest Win of Season; Seattle’s Record Stands at 8-13
SEATTLE – Led by the 26 points of second-year guard Jewell Loyd, the Seattle Storm earned a wire-to-wire, 80-51 win over the Washington Mystics on Friday at KeyArena. It was the largest margin of victory this year for the Storm, which improves to 8-13 and evens the season series with Washington.
Loyd shot 11-of-17 from the field on the way to 26 points, including 18 in the first half. Rookie forward Breanna Stewart had five assists in the first half, finishing the night with a team-high eight dimes along with 10 points and seven rebounds. Point guard Sue Bird had 12 points and seven assists, while Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis came off the bench to score a season-high 12 points on four three-pointers.
It was the eighth 20-point game of the season for Loyd, the reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year. Fellow second-year wing Mosqueda-Lewis has now hit at least two three-pointers in three of her last for games. As a team, the Storm recorded 20 assists, reaching 20 or more helpers for the fourth straight game.
Emma Meesseman led the Mystics with a double-double of 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 10 rebounds.
Seattle had the upper hand early on, as all five starters scored during an 11-4 start to the game. Loyd kept the Storm in control from there, finishing the quarter with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting after hitting her first three jump shots. Seattle held a double-digit lead for much of the quarter and led 26-15 at its conclusion.
The lead grew to 31-15 after two quick buckets to start the second frame. Washington then used an 8-0 run to climb back into the game, but the Mystics were unable to score in the final 5:28 of the first half. Mosqueda-Lewis nailed a pair of three-pointers, and Loyd continued to impose her will as the Storm took a 41-23 edge into the break. Loyd finished the half with 18 points, while the Mystics’ 23 points came on 25.7 percent shooting.
A layup by Loyd was the first basket of the second half, and Seattle’s lead grew to 45-25 on the first of two consecutive buckets by Bird. Bird scored six of her 12 points in the third quarter to help Seattle continue to increase its advantage. Seattle capped off the third quarter with an alley-oop layup from Stewart to Loyd, something the pair has made a habit of doing this season.
The Storm started hot in the fourth quarter, putting the game out of reach as a three-pointer by Mosqueda-Lewis and a Stewart layup extended the advantage to 70-42 in the opening minute.
The Storm and Mystics will meet for the third time on Sept. 9 in Washington. Seattle will be back at KeyArena on Sunday to face reigning MVP Elena Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky, with tipoff scheduled for 4 p.m. PT.