Seattle Storm Falls 78-71 to Minnesota Lynx in Home Opener

Alysha Clark Scores Career-High 20 Points as Seattle Drops to 1-2

SEATTLE – Despite a career-high 20 points from forward Alysha Clark, the Seattle Storm fell 78-71 to the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx in front of 9,686 fans at KeyArena in its home opener on Sunday.

Coming off its first victory of the season on Friday, the Storm (1-2) started with a stellar first quarter on Sunday, outscoring Minnesota 24-19 with rookie forward Breanna Stewart leading the way with nine points. After scoring four points combined in the first two games, Clark had seven in the first quarter and would go on to pass her previous career high of 14 early in the fourth quarter.

The Lynx (3-0) went on a 9-0 run early in the second quarter behind former MVP Maya Moore, who didn’t take a shot in the first quarter but exploded for 10 in the second. Moore scored seven points in a two-minute span to help Minnesota build a narrow lead that it would hold onto for the rest of the night. Moore, who entered Sunday’s game at second in the WNBA in points per game behind Seattle’s Jewell Loyd, finished with a team-high 17 points on 7-of-15 field goals.

Stewart finished with 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, while Loyd added 14 points and Sue Bird notched 12 points with nine assists. Sunday’s game marked the second straight contest that four Seattle players reached double figures.

It was a very slow start to the second half for both teams, as Seattle and Minnesota combined for just 18 points in the third quarter. The Lynx led 54-51 heading into the final period, and point guard Lindsay Whalen led the way in the fourth quarter with seven points to help Minnesota hold on for its third straight victory to start the season.

The Lynx were held to by far their lowest scoring output of the season, as they had put up 97 and 95 points in their first two games.

Seattle has two more home games this week, starting with a Thursday night matchup with the Washington Mystics. The Storm then hosts the Connecticut Sun on Saturday, with both games tipping off at 7 p.m. PT.