Charles and Loyd lead Storm past Lynx, 96-69

Charles with 23 points; Loyd with 21 to held Seattle secure home court advantage in first round of playoffs

MINNEAPOLIS – Tina Charles scored a game-high 23 points and Jewell Loyd added 21 as Seattle cruised to a 96-69 win over Minnesota on Friday night at Target Center.

The Storm improves to 22-13 with the victory, securing the No. 4 overall seed in its upcoming WNBA Playoff matchup with the Washington Mystics. Seattle also secures a sweep of the season series with the Lynx (14-21), its fourth-ever season sweep and first in a non-Wubble season since 2008.

Charles and Loyd provided the bulk of the offense for Seattle, combining for 46 points on 17-of-30 shooting—including 6-of-10 from three-point range. Charles had 23 of those points to go along with nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. Loyd tallied 21 points, connecting on 8-of-14 from the field.

Breanna Stewart joined the mix as well with 16 points and 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. She also had two assists and a steal. Briann January came off the bench to tally 11 points, adding five assists to push her past Dawn Staley (15th) and into a tie with Teresa Weatherspoon for 14th on the WNBA’s all-time assist list with 1,338 in her career.

Seattle jumped out to an early lead thanks to another big first quarter. After giving up an opening basket, to the Storm responded with a 15-2 run to go up 15-4 at the 4:32 mark. Minnesota hit a pair of free throws to make it a nine-point game again, but Seattle closed out the quarter by once again outscoring the Lynx 15-4 to take a 30-10 lead after one.

It was the third time this season Seattle has scored 30+ points in the first quarter with all of those coming during the team’s first four games in August. The Storm also shot 57.1% from the field (12-21) and had more three-pointers (6) than Minnesota had field goals (4).

In the second, the Storm’s shooting cooled off a bit to start with Seattle connecting on just 4-of-11 to start. Minnesota took advantage and outscored the Storm 14-6 over the first 5:20 to narrow the deficit to 36-24. But once again, Seattle outscored the Lynx down the stretch, as Stewart scored six of the Storm’s seven-straight points over a four-minute stretch to give the visitors a 45-28 lead at the half.

Seattle blew the game wide open in the third period, connecting on 11-of-17 (64.7%) from the field including 4-of-5 from three-point range. Still up by 17 at the 6:06 mark, the Storm went on a 14-4 run capped by a three-pointer by Epiphanny Prince to put Seattle up 70-43 with 1:56 left. The Storm would go up by as many as 30 in the fourth quarter before settling for the 27-point victory—a point off its largest margin of victory ever against Minnesota.

The Storm closes out the 2022 regular-season on Sunday, traveling to Las Vegas to face the Aces at Noon on ABC.

—— StormBasketball.com ——

TEAM

1

2

3

4

SCORE

RECORD

HIGH PTS

HIGH REB

HIGH AST

SEATTLE

30

15

32

19

96

22-13

T. Charles, 23

B. Stewart, 10

G. Williams, 7

MINNESOTA

10

18

32

19

69

14-21

A. Powers, 18

S. Fowles, 12

Allen/McBride, 3

STORY OF THE GAME
  • The Seattle Storm locked up the fourth seed and home-court advantage in the first-round of the WNBA playoffs with a 96-69 win over Minnesota in front of a sellout crowd of 12,134 at the Target Center.
  • Seattle once again had the offense working, scoring 96 points for a total of 207 over its last two games. That’s the second-most over a two-game span in franchise history (210, 9/6/20 – 9/9/20).
  • The Storm used a big first quarter to break the game open, outscoring Minnesota 15-4 over the first five minutes of the game, then closing the period on a 15-4 run to lead 30-10 after the first.

KEY STATS OF THE GAME

  • The Storm shot 52.8% from the field, going 50% or better for the sixth time this year. Three of those were against the Lynx.
  • With 29 assists in the game, the Storm has recorded a WNBA record 66 assists over its last two games.
STORM HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tina Charles scored 23 points, 12 coming in the first quarter, connecting on 9-of-16 from the field while adding nine rebounds. She also contributed three assists and three steals.
  • Jewell Loyd dropped in 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting, giving her 10 games of 20+ points this season and 70 in her career. Loyd set the Storm record for three-pointers in a season, hitting four in the game to give her 76 on the season.
  • Breanna Stewart recorded her fifth double-double of the season and 53rd of her career with 16 points and ten rebounds on top of two assists and one steal. It was Stewart’s 33rd consecutive game scoring in double-digits, the longest active streak in the WNBA and the fourth-longest streak in Storm history.
  • Briann January came off the bench to score 11 points, one shy of her season high, and her third time scoring in double-digits this year. January also dished five assists, passing Dawn Staley (15th) and tying Teresa Weatherspoon for 14th on the WNBA’s all-time assist list with 1,338 in her career.
  • Gabby Williams led the Storm in assists with seven dimes, while tallying five points, five rebounds and three steals. Williams has averaged 11.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists over the last four games.
LYNX HIGHLIGHTS
  • Playing her last regular season home game, Sylvia Fowles tallied her 192nd career double-double, sitting atop the WNBA all-time list.

NEXT GAME

The Storm wraps up the regular season on Sunday, August 14, facing the Las Vegas Aces at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Noon. The game will be broadcast nationally on ABC.