Jewell Loyd Scores Team-High 25 Points; Seattle’s Record Stands at 9-14
SEATTLE – In its final home game before the month-long Olympic break, the Seattle Storm earned a wire-to-wire, 83-69 win over the San Antonio Stars at KeyArena on Wednesday. The Storm, which got 25 points from Jewell Loyd and 22 from Breanna Stewart, improves to 9-14 and is now tied with Washington for the eighth and final playoff spot with 11 games remaining.
After it was a tightly contested game for most of the afternoon, the Storm used a 16-0 run in the fourth quarter to pull away for the victory. Stewart hit a pair of three-pointers and scored nine points during the decisive run, and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added eight points in the final period.
Loyd shot 11-for-17 from the field on Wednesday, recording her ninth 20-point game of the season. Stewart blocked five shots for the second straight contest, while Mosqueda-Lewis was in double figures off the bench for the third straight contest (10 points). Rookie point guard Moriah Jefferson paced the Stars with 25 points on 11-for-21 shooting.
After splitting its pair of outings in San Antonio, Seattle clinched the season series between the teams on Wednesday. The Storm also moved four games ahead of its Western Conference foe in the standings.
In the first quarter, Loyd and Stewart scored four points apiece as part of a 10-2 start for the Storm, but the Stars’ Alex Montgomery countered with a trio of three-pointers to bring them within one. Loyd started 5-for-5 and finished the period with 13 points to help the Storm extend its lead to 29-21. Jefferson scored eight first-quarter points, yet the Stars turned it over five times and Seattle took advantage in transition.
After the strong opening quarter, the Storm went ice cold in the second, scoring just seven points on 18.1 percent from the field. Neither team got on the board in the period until Jefferson’s pull-up jumper at the 6:09 mark. San Antonio closed the half on an 8-3 run, including a pair of Jefferson baskets, to pull within three.
The Storm responded with a red hot to start the third quarter, sinking 10 of its first 13 shots led by six quick points from Loyd. Seattle increased its lead to double digits for the first time on a Stewart three-point play that made it 58-48 with three minutes left in the third quarter, and the Storm was ahead 60-51 heading to the fourth.
The Storm will play on the road Friday night against the defending champion Minnesota Lynx in its final game before the Olympic break.