By Matthew Roberson
The Seattle Storm continues its three-game road trip Friday, June 9, when it squares off with the Indiana Fever at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The game will tip off at 4 p.m. PDT.
Seattle heads to Indianapolis fresh off earning its first road win of the season on Tuesday at San Antonio. The Storm held San Antonio to 76 points and kept No. 1 overall draft pick Kelsey Plum to just six points on 2-for-8 shooting. Breanna Stewart had a team-high 22 points for Seattle, which also set her season high for points on the young season. Alysha Clark (17), Crystal Langhorne (14), Jewell Loyd (10), and Sue Bird (10) all had double digit points for Seattle, with Bird and Loyd dishing out nine and six assists, respectively.
Bird spoke after the game about the collection of talent Seattle has that allows her to rack up so many assists.
“On this team, we have a lot of weapons,” said Bird. “I’m just trying to get everybody in the right spots and then make basketball plays. You just have to read what the defense gives you. I think a lot of the assists that our entire team gets is about finding the open player and making the right play.”
The win at San Antonio’s AT&T Center gave Seattle its first win of the season away from its home court at KeyArena. Heading into action against Indiana, the Storm has an overall record of 5-2. Seattle averages 82.7 points per game while holding opponents to an average of 79.7. Seattle also has the league’s third best offensive rating at 107.4 points per 100 possessions.
Loyd has led the way thus far with 18.1 points per game on 50 percent shooting, while Stewart and Langhorne tally 14.8 and 14 points, respectively. Clark has emerged of late for the Storm, recording 18.3 points in her last three outings.
AT A GLANCE: FEVER
Indiana enters play with a 3-5 record and the ninth spot in the Associated Press (AP) Power Poll. Seattle defeated the Fever twice at KeyArena already this season, a five-point (87-82) win on May 14 and 24-point (94-70) triumph on May 28.
In its most recent outing, Indiana suffered a 98-90 overtime loss against the Phoenix Mercury. The Fever was outscored, 20-12, during the overtime period.
Defense has been the aspect of the game Indiana has struggled the most with. The Fever allows a league-high 88.4 points per game to its opponents. The team also has the worst defensive rating in the WNBA, as opponents score 111.3 points per 100 possessions against it.
Candice Dupree leads the Fever with 14.9 points and 5.6 boards per contest, while Tiffany Mitchell averages 12.1 points and 2.5 assists.
Seattle has a 17-18 all-time record against Indiana and has won just four times in 17 games in Indianapolis.
The last time the two teams met at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Storm pulled out a thrilling 90-88 win, which snapped a losing streak at Indiana dating to 2008. Loyd’s two free throws with 2.4 seconds left sealed the victory for the Storm. Loyd finished with a team-high 20 points, while Langhorne put up 17 points and five boards. The Storm opened that game by outscoring Indiana, 29-12, in the first quarter, and held on a 12-point leading entering the fourth.
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