By Wyatt Yearout
The Seattle Storm used a big fourth quarter to break away from New York on the road, taking down the Liberty 96-80 and improving its record to 22-7 on the season.
Breanna Stewart led the way with 32 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists.
Natasha Howard posted her fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds while also adding five steals (ties career-high) and five blocks (ties season-high).
Jewell Loyd chipped in 17 points along with seven assists, joining the 2,000-point club in the third quarter.
After going into halftime tied at 44, Seattle rattled off an 10-0 run late in the second period to extend its lead to double digits at 61-50. The Liberty however was able to answer right back with an 10-0 run of its own to close out the third period, narrowing the gap back to one point at 61-60.
Seattle and New York traded buckets for much of the fourth period until the Storm went on a 22-2 run led by Stewart around the five-minute mark. The Seattle run extended the lead to 16 points late in the fourth, ultimately putting the game out of reach. Stewart tallied 12 points in the final quarter to anchor the run.
Head coach Dan Hughes really enjoyed his team’s poise in the fourth period despite New York knocking down tough shots, and he also thought Stewart was huge down the stretch.
“Stewie really finished well in the fourth. We were able to find her and the ball moved really well, and she did a great job in that. But I also thought down the stretch we showed poise because New York was playing well.”
- Now at 11-3 on the road, Seattle has tied the franchise’s best road wins total, set in 2010 when the team went 11-6 on the road. With three road games remaining, the Storm has a chance to set the team’s best road record in history.
- Fourth-year guard Loyd scored her 2,000th-career point at the 5:45 mark of the fourth quarter. She finished with 17 points and seven assists.
- Leading WNBA MVP candidate Stewart, who entered today’s game second in the WNBA in scoring, finished with 32 points, her 15th 25+ scoring effort and 5th 30+ scoring effort this season. She has now tied her own 20-point single-season scoring record of 21 games (2017) and can best that mark tomorrow night in Indiana.
- Seattle scored 35 points in the fourth quarter, led by 12 from Stewart, marking a new fourth quarter season-high for the team (previously 31 vs. Chicago, 6/12/18).
- Guard Sue Bird recorded a game-high-tying seven assists. She now has 199 assists on the season, needing 22 to match her career-best (221 in 2003) for a single-season and 37 to match the all-time record (236 in 2000) held by Ticha Penicheiro.
- Led by five steals from Howard, Seattle notched a season-high 16 steals today.
Seattle is back in action tomorrow against the Indiana Fever at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with tip-off set for 4 p.m./PT.