SEATTLE – Playing at home for the first time in 17 days, the Seattle Storm (6-4) stayed strong from behind the arc to capture an 84-62 victory against the Los Angeles Sparks (4-5). The Storm recorded a team-best 14 three-points, including five from Jewell Loyd who recorded a season-high 23 points.
The Sparks climbed to a 10-3 lead in the opening minutes of the game but quickly went cold as Seattle went on a 15-3 run to claim the lead. Loyd went 4-for-5 from the field to score the Storm’s first 11 points and Natasha Howard, who notched her sixth 20-point game with 20 points and nine rebounds, poured in the next seven as the duo combined for 19 of the team’s 22 points in the first quarter.
Los Angeles opened the second quarter with a three to get within two points of the Storm, but Sami Whitcomb countered with a three to start an 11-2 run, pushing Seattle’s lead to double-digits, and the Storm entered halftime with a 12-point advantage.
Coming out of the locker room, Storm defense held the Sparks to only four points for the first six minutes. The Storm showed no signs slowing down in the fourth quarter as Seattle went on a 13-3 run in the final 3:11 of the game. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Crystal Langhorne combined for 16 of the Storm’s 20 fourth-quarter points to help secure the Storm’s largest win of the season.
Nneka Ogwumike led Los Angeles in scoring with 10 points, shooting 4-of-5 from the field. In her first game back since the Sparks’ opener, Alana Beard contributed eight points and grabbed three rebounds. The Sparks bench accounted for nearly half their points, while Candace Parker was limited to two points on 1-of-9 shooting in her second game since returning from a hamstring injury.
KEY STATS OF THE GAME
- The Storm surpassed its season high in the first half with eight made 3-point field goals, finishing the evening 14-for-26 from long range (53.8%). Jewell Loyd matched her career-high with five made treys.
- Jewell Loyd tallied a season-high 23 points and Natasha Howard reached 20 points for the sixth time in 10 games.
- Alysha Clarkmatched her career-high 10 rebounds, falling just one point short of her first career double-double.
- In her second outing of the season, Candace Parkerwent 1-for-9 from the field and finished with two points and four rebounds.
- Jewell Loyd scored the first 11 points for the Storm, going 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, before Natasha Howardpoured in the next seven for Seattle.
- After the Sparks went on a 10-3 run to open the game, the Storm went on a 15-3 stretch to pull ahead at the end of the first quarter (22-17).
- Jewell Loydmatched her career-high with five made three-point field goals (done this twice before on 7/31/18 vs Phoenix and 5/31/18 vs Las Vegas).
- Natasha Howard recorded her sixth 20-point game of the year and Jewell Loyd scored a season-high 23 points, marking the second time this season that they have each scored 20 in the same game (6/9 at Chicago). They combined for 33 of the Storm’s 46 first-half points.
- The Storm finished with a season-high 14 treys, doubling its previous high mark of seven (6/4 vs. Minnesota). In three home contests, Seattle is averaging 9.0 made three-pointers per game and shooting 46.6 percent from beyond the arc.
- Storm held its largest lead over an opponent this season (26) at the 1:55 mark in the fourth quarter with a bucket by Crystal Langhorne.
- With the win, Seattle improves to 3-0 at home for the first time starting 4-0 in 2017.
- Seattle carried a 12-point advantage into the second half, improving to 5-0 when tied or leading at the half.
- Sami Whitcomb connected on 3-of-3 attempts from beyond the arc to match her season-high nine points.Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis dropped all eight of her points in the fourth, assisting on 11 of the Storm’s 20 fourth quarter points. The Storm’s bench contributed 28 points, matching its season high (5/31 at Atlanta).
LOS ANGELES HIGHLIGHTS
- Chelsea Gray’sseven points broke her tie with Tina Thompson on the Sparks all-time scoring list, moving her up to 9th all-time (1,334).
- Alana Beardrejoined the starting lineup for her first time since the season opener, finishing with eight points, three rebounds and two assists.
- Nneka Ogwumikelead the team with 10 points while younger sister Chiney Ogwumike paced the Sparks with six rebounds.
Seattle will celebrate the 20th season in franchise history on Sunday, June 23 at 4 p.m. as the Storm debuts at Alaska Airlines Arena at the University of Washington. This will be the first of 12 games played at the Alaska Airlines Arena during the renovation of the Seattle City Center.