Storm Begins Crucial Five-Game Road Trip at Top-Ranked Minnesota

By Matthew Roberson

After a 109-93 win on Friday night vs. the Dallas Wings, the Seattle Storm (10-12) hits the road for a five-game road trip. The first game on the docket is a matchup with the Minnesota Lynx (17-2) on Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center. The teams will jump tip at 4:00 p.m. PDT.

A win for Seattle would give the franchise its first win in St. Paul since 2010. That victory, on July 17, 2010, is the lone win in 15 games on the Lynx’ homecourt this decade. The most recent faceoff between these two teams took place on June 3 of this year. Minnesota left Seattle with a 100-77 win, snapping the Storm’s four-game winning streak. Breanna Stewart accumulated 14 points in that game, one of four Storm starters to reach double digits. Alysha Clark had 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting. Crystal Langhorne matched Clark with 16 points, while Sue Bird played her way to eight points and eight assists.

In the Storm’s most recent game against Dallas, the team scored a season-high 109 points. Its 40 made field goals and 29 assists also tied franchise records.

Jewell Loyd amassed 27 points against Dallas on Friday. Loyd has scored 20 points in eight different games this year. Stewart had 20 points and nine rebounds in the win vs. the Wings.

For the Storm to have success on the road, it will need to keep this well-oiled offensive machine running. Head coach Jenny Boucek certainly liked what she saw on Friday night, and she spoke about the high-flying offense after beating Dallas.

“Everybody did their part and everybody pulled their weight whether it shows up in their numbers or not,” Boucek said. “It’s good to see consistent effort and consistency throughout the game. Tonight was a good step.”

 

AT A GLANCE: LYNX

The Lynx roar into Seattle having won nine of their last 10 games. Minnesota defeated Atlanta 90-80 on Friday to earn its fifth straight triumph. Chicago and Connecticut are the only two teams this season to beat Minnesota, and both did so by at least five points.

Minnesota is unquestionably one of the best teams in the league. After finishing as the runner-up in last year’s WNBA Finals, the Lynx have won 17 of their first 19 games in 2017. The roster features four All-Stars (Maya Moore, Sylvia Fowles, Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson), as well as the WNBA’s all-time leader in wins (Lindsay Whalen). Head coach Cheryl Reeve is also the winner of five WNBA championships, two as an assistant and three as a head coach.

Fowles is third in the league in both points and rebounds per game. She is also the holder of the WNBA’s highest career field goal percentage (58.7) and is approaching the top 10 in career rebounds. Each member of Minnesota’s All-Star quartet averages double digit scoring. As a team, Minnesota is first in both opponents’ points per game and defensive rating.

 

SERIES HISTORY

The Storm owns a 28-36 record against the Lynx, a team it has played at least three times every year since 2000. Seattle has a 20-12 record in home games against Minnesota and an 8-24 record on the road.

Seattle’s last win against the Lynx happened on Sept. 11, 2015. The Storm escaped with 78-64 disposal of its longtime nemesis. Augustus, still a pillar of the Lynx organization, holds the franchise record for points against Seattle. The veteran forward put up 32 on June 14, 2006.

 

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