BRADENTON, Fla. — The No. 2 Seattle Storm shot 57.1% from the field and featured five double-digit scorers in an explosive 104-91 win over No. 1 Las Vegas in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals.
With just one win needed to clinch their fourth championship, the Storm were led by three players who scored over 20 points. Breanna Stewart scored 22, Natasha Howard scored 21 in a 9-for-10 shooting performance, and Alysha Clark bounced back to score 21 points with six assists.
Sue Bird also dropped a double-double, scoring 16 points and dishing out 10 assists.
“I thought we got back to a really good balanced offense,” head coach Gary Kloppenburg said. “Ball moving side-to-side, then we got stops … in the fourth quarter we finally strung some stops together and we were able to stretch out that lead a little bit.”
The first quarter started with another offensive explosion for the Storm. Every starter scored, Sue Bird dished out six assists, and Seattle was shooting a blistering 70.6% from the field to take a 31-24 lead.
The Storm cooled off in the second quarter, bringing their shooting percentage just below 50%, but still led at the halftime break, 48-42. Howard and Clark were Seattle’s leading scorers, with 12 points a piece, as the Storm used their pace and three-point shooting to get out to an early lead in the first half.
The third quarter featured more and more offense, with both Seattle and Las Vegas shooting over 50% and scoring at a high pace. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Storm led by seven, with Stewart already at 20 points and Bird with an early 10-point, 10-assist double-double.
With a slim lead the Storm got back to their bread and butter and outshot the Aces in the final frame, separating enough to win comfortably and move on to Game 3 with a chance to clinch a second title in three seasons.
“This is Game 3,” Stewart said. “This is our moment to really finish the series and take home the championship. We’re going to continue to be sharp, be better than what we were in Game 1 and Game 2 and then leave it all on the court.”
TOP STAT TO KNOW
#SayHerName: It has been 205 days since Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her own apartment. There has still been no justice.
- Just a week after setting a franchise record for assists in a playoff game, the Storm have broken their own record with 33 assists tonight, which also set an all-time WNBA Finals record. Sue Bird led the Storm with a double-double, 10 assists and 16 points.
- Bird’s double-double with her fifth points-assists double-double in the playoffs, making her the sole player in league history with five points-assists double-doubles in the postseason. She was previously tied for first with Diana Taurasi with four.
- Bird moved to fifth all-time in WNBA Finals history for career three-point makes, with 93. In her fourth career Finals series, Bird is just two three-pointers away from fourth on the all-time list. Bird also easily moved past Maya Moore for second on the WNBA Finals career assist list, now with 78.
- Three Storm players scored 20+ points in the win, Breanna Stewart scoring 22 and Alysha Clark and Natasha Howard each adding 21. Howard shot 9-for-10 from the field.