INDIANAPOLIS – Jewell Loyd hit three free throws in the final 25 seconds to give the Seattle Storm (4-3) an 84-82 road win over the Indiana Fever (3-3). Natasha Howard finished the night with a career-high 26 points and nearly collected her third double-double of the season with nine rebounds.
After overtaking the Fever late in the first quarter, Seattle maintained the lead nearly the rest of the way despite allowing Indiana to shoot over 50 percent from the field. The Fever initiated an 11-3 run beginning with a Kelsey Mitchell 31-foot buzzer beater as the third quarter expired. Candice Dupree, who would finish the night with 10 points and 15 rebounds, sank the turnaround fadeaway jumper to get within one point of Seattle.
The Storm managed to pull its lead back to seven, but Natalie Achonwa, who scored 9 of her 17 points in the fourth quarter, hit one of two free throws with under 30 seconds left to give Indiana a one-point advantage. After a Storm timeout, Loyd made a pair of free throws after a foul call that was reviewed by officials. She returned to the charity stripe with nine seconds on the clock to give the Storm its final point. Dupree missed the Fever’s last field goal attempt andCrystal Langhorne secured the rebound to seal the victory for Seattle.
KEY STATS OF THE GAME
- Despite a final margin of just two points, the Storm led by as many as 11 points, the fourth time this season they had led by at least 10 points at any time in the game. Seattle is 4-0 in such games.
- Seattle finished the night 15-16 at the free throw line, while Indiana only got to the line nine times. Jewell Loyd made a pair of free throws after a foul call that was reviewed by officials with 24 seconds left to give Seattle an 83-82 lead. She returned to the charity stripe with nine seconds on the clock to give the Storm its final point.
- Natasha Howard scored a career-high 26 points and added nine rebounds in her fourth 20-point performance of the season.
- Howard sank a three-pointer in the final minute of the first half. She was later fouled on her second long-range attempt, leading to a trio of made free throws to push the Storm’s lead to four with 7:09 left in the game.
- Mercedes Russell also posted a career-high 13 points and season-best eight rebounds. She passed her previous mark of 10 points with 3:39 left in the first half. The second-year center also grabbed six offensive rebounds off of 20 of the Storm’s missed field goal attempts in the first half.
- The Storm finished the night 5-9 on three-point field goal attempts (55.6 percent), marking the second time in its last three games that it had shot above 50 percent from beyond the arc. Seattle shot 23.7 percent on three-point attempts over the course of its first four games.
- Three of Storm’s starters netted double-digit points, combining for 57 of the final 84 points. Natasha Howard(26), Mercedes Russell (13), Jewell Loyd (18).
- Sami Whitcomb dished out a career-high six assists that led to 13 Storm points.
- The Storm’s win over the Fever was their fourth in a row. Seattle has taken five of the last six meetings between the teams and leads the all-time series 21-19.
- Kelsey Mitchell finished with seven assists, setting a new career high. Mitchell’s dished 13 assists in her last two contests.
- Mitchell went 8-of-19 from the field and led the Fever with 21 points. It is the third time in four games Mitchell reached the 20-point mark.
- Candice Dupree posted her second double-double in the last three games and now has 68 in her career. Dupree finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds. The 15 boards are the highest total of Dupree’s Fever career.
- Five different Fever players reached double-figures. Indiana has seven players averaging at least 10 points per game.
- Rookie Kennedy Burke reached double-figures for the second game in a row. Burke followed an 18-point performance against Phoenix on Sunday with 14 points against Seattle.
- Indiana is .500 or better through six games for the first time since 2016, the last season the team reached the playoffs.
Seattle heads to Washington, D.C., on Friday (4 p.m. PT on CBS Sports Network) for the first time since the series-clinching Game 3 of the 2018 WNBA Finals. The Storm then travels to Connecticut for the final game of its four-game road series, facing the Sun on June 16 (12:30 p.m. PT on ABC).