Charles, Stewart lead Storm to 82-72 win over Atlanta

Charles recorded 27 points and became the fourth WNBA player to score 7,000 career points

SEATTLE – Tina Charles scored 27 points and added a season-high 15 rebounds while Breanna Stewart added 23 points and 10 boards as the duo recorded its second straight double double-double as Seattle defeated Atlanta 82-72 on Sunday afternoon at Climate Pledge Arena.

The Storm improves to 18-10 on the season, picking up its fifth-straight home win and finishing the season with an 8-1 home record against Eastern Conference teams. The loss drops the Dream to 12-16.

Charles and Stewart provided the bulk of the offense for the Storm, combining for 50 of the team’s 82 points, 25 of its 39 rebounds, and seven of team’s eight blocks.

Charles got Seattle off to a hot start, scoring 20 of her points in the first half on 7-of-8 shooting including 4-of-5 from three-point range. She connected on back-to-back three-pointers midway through the second with the second of those giving her 7,000 career points. She became just fourth WNBA player to record 7,000 points, joining Hall of Famers Tina Thompson and Tamika Catchings and a future Hall of Famer in Diana Taurasi as the only players to reach the 7,000-point plateau. Charles finished with 27 points in the game on 9-of-13 shooting while adding season-highs of 15 rebounds and four blocks. She is just the second Storm player with 27+ points, 15+ rebounds and 4+ blocks in a game, joining Lauren Jackson, who had 32/18/4 vs San Antonio on Aug. 12, 2003.

Charles recorded her 96th career 20+ point/10+ rebound game, the most in WNBA history and 19 more than the next closest player (Sylvia Fowles, 77). It was also her 172nd double-double—the second-most in WNBA history behind Fowles’ 190.

The second half belonged to Stewart, who tallied 18 of her 23 points over the final 20 minutes—the fifth time this season she has scored 18+ points in a half. Stewart went 5-of-13 from the field but went to the line 13 times as well, making 12 and adding 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season and 51st of her career. Stewart also had three blocks, four assists, and two steals in the contest.

The game went back and forth to start with six ties and five lead changes in the first quarter alone. Seattle opened the game by scoring the first six points but Atlanta rallied back and the seesaw battle left the score tied at 19-19 at the end of one.

After Atlanta got the lead back with an early bucket to start the second, Seattle rattled off a 18-6 run over the next six minutes with Charles draining three from beyond the arc over that stretch. Atlanta close back to within five points but a pair of Charles free throws at the end of the quarter gave Seattle a 41-34 lead at the half.

In the third, the Storm used an early 12-5 advantage to build a 53-41 lead at the 6:05 mark and an Epiphanny Prince three-pointer with 46.5 seconds left in the period put Seattle up 63-53 as the teams headed to the fourth.

Seattle build its lead to as many as 13 with 6:21 to go, but saw the Dream make one final charge, closing to within six on a pair of occasions—the final one at 76-70 with 3:06 to play. But the Storm would score six-straight over the next 1:24 to build the lead back up to 12, holding Atlanta to just 1-of-12 over the final three minutes of the game.

The Storm returns to action on Wednesday, July 28, beginning a three-game, two-city road trip in Connecticut against the Sun at 4:00 p.m. PT.