Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry Scores 37 Points; Storm Reached First Postseason Since 2013
ATLANTA – The Seattle Storm lost 94-85 to the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion, bowing out of the WNBA playoffs in the single-elimination first round.
Seattle, the No. 7 seed, was in control in the first half against the sixth-seeded Dream. But the hosts would overcome the Storm thanks to a 37-point night from star forward Angel McCoughtry, the seventh-highest scoring output in playoff history.
In their postseason debuts, the Storm’s Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart scored 24 and 19 points, respectively. Sue Bird added 12 points and seven assists for Seattle.
Atlanta shot 53.1 percent for the game, while Seattle finished at just 38.9 percent. In addition to McCoughtry’s 37 points on 14-of-21 shooting, Bria Holmes scored 21 points for the Dream.
After a bit of a slow start for both teams, a Stewart three-pointer cut Seattle’s early deficit to 9-8 midway through the first quarter. Stewart and McCoughtry went back and forth in the opening frame, with the Storm rookie scoring nine of her team’s first 15 points, and McCoughtry notching seven straight points for the hosts.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis hit a three-pointer to give Seattle a one-point edge, and another McCoughtry bucket put Atlanta in front 19-18 at the end of the first quarter.
The Storm scored from the free throw line often early in the second frame, with Stewart, Loyd and Mosqueda-Lewis contributing. Seattle would go on a 9-0 run, capped off when Loyd found Stewart for a fast-break layup that made it 30-23. McCoughtry ended the run with a jumper and continued to score, but the Storm’s lead was increased to double digits late in the quarter after a Loyd layup in transition.
Loyd finished the first half with 12 points, while Stewart had 15 as the Storm took a 45-37 lead into the break.
Playing with three fouls, McCoughtry hit a three-pointer and a layup as part of a 7-0 start to the second half for the Dream. Loyd then scored seven points in the next few minutes, helping the Storm keep a slight advantage. Despite picking up her fourth foul at the 6:55 mark in the third, McCoughtry stayed in the game and kept shouldering the scoring load for Atlanta.
The Dream tied it up midway through the third, going on a 6-0 run before Stewart scored her first bucket of the half. With 1:11 to go in the frame, McCoughtry hit a pair of free throws to give Atlanta its first lead since the opening minute of the second quarter. It was tied at 66 apiece heading into the fourth.
The Storm didn’t connect on a field goal during the first three minutes of the final period, as Atlanta went up by seven points. The lead was then double digits after a McCoughtry three-pointer, and she hit two straight midrange jumpers to make it 85-71 with five minutes to go. Atlanta led by as many as 16 late in the fourth.
Wednesday marks the end of a 2016 season in which the Storm improved its win total by six games and jumped from 11th to 7th in the league standings.