Thursday, June 30 – 7 p.m. PT
KeyArena | Seattle, WA
This TV; WNBA League Pass
After a 3-7 start to the season, Dallas has won four of its last six games, thanks in large part to the return of guard Skylar Diggins. The Wings are one game ahead of the Storm in the win column, as Seattle’s record stands at 6-9 following home wins over Connecticut and Atlanta.
Seattle owns a 17-10 all-time record against the Wings, who are playing their first season in Dallas after spending the previous six in Tulsa, Okla. The two teams met on June 16, when the Wings earned a 77-70 win over the visiting Storm despite 29 points from Breanna Stewart.
Dallas ranks first in the WNBA in offensive rebounding percentage, as it has grabbed 32.6 percent of its misses this season. The Wings’ Courtney Paris and Karima Christmas are first and second in the league with 3.1 and 2.8 offensive rebounds per game, respectively. Defensive rebounding has been a weakness for the Storm, which boasts a league-low 0.69 rebounding rate on that end of the court.
Heading into the first matchup of the season, both Dallas and Seattle were launching three-pointers at historically high rates. Those numbers have dropped a bit since, but they are still first and second in the league in three-pointers attempted, as the Wings average 22.6 per game and the Storm averages 19.5. Both teams have consistently been among the league leaders in three-point attempts in recent years.
In Tuesday’s win over Atlanta, Storm rookie forward Breanna Stewart scored 38 points, tied for the most by a WNBA player this season. It was the first career 30-point game for Stewart, who went 12-of-16 from the field en route to the highest-scoring performance by a rookie in franchise history. She surpassed her college career high in points, as the most Stewart scored during her four years at UConn was 37. It ranks as the third-highest scoring output by a rookie in league history and the second-highest point total in franchise history, behind only Lauren Jackson’s 47 in an overtime game in 2007.
Jewell Loyd and Skylar Diggins, who played together for one season at Notre Dame, will play major roles in Thursday’s matchup. Loyd has increased her scoring from 10.7 points per game as a rookie to 16.6 in year two with the Storm. Diggins, who missed almost all of last season due to a knee injury, is coming off a 29-point, seven-assist performance against Los Angeles.
- Storm forward Abby Bishop is back with the team after missing the previous three games while attending Australian National Team camp.
- Following Thursday’s matchup with Dallas, Seattle will start another road trip when it faces the Dream on Tuesday, July 5 in Atlanta. The Storm then plays at New York the very next day before closing its three-game trip at San Antonio on Friday, July 8.