Loyd drops 30 again as Storm clips Wings 97-76

Loyd scores 30 to lead all five starters in double-figures as Seattle wins seventh-straight at home

SEATTLE – Jordan Horston was saying that last year, she would sometimes get that deer-in-the-headlights feeling when she found herself in the starting lineup as rookie.

Now, it’s Seattle Storm opponents who just might be getting that same fear when they see Horston on the court for the opening tip – and for every minute she’s out there after that.

Horston, in her third consecutive start, went for her first double-double of the season, scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, and Jewell Loyd poured in 30 points on the heels of Thursday night’s 34-point outing as the Storm downed the Dallas Wings on Saturday night in Climate Pledge Arena, 97-76.

With the season not quite at the halfway point, Seattle (12-6) now has more victories than it had all of last year, and is now on a three-game win streak – all of those coming on the front end of its WNBA-record nine-game homestand. The Storm have won seven in a row at home after dropping the opener to Minnesota on May 14.

For the second time this week, all five Storm starters reached double-digit scoring. Along with Loyd’s 30 and Horston’s 12, Nneka Ogwumike had 16, Ezi Magbegor added 13, and Skylar Diggins-Smith chipped in 12.

Horston, who started 17 games last summer, came off the bench for the first 15 games of the season, often as the first sub. She got her first start last Sunday in a 72-61 victory against then-league leading Connecticut and supplied 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

In Thursday’s 89-77 victory against Indiana, Horston had five points, four rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block.

On Saturday, in addition to her 12 points (on 5-of-10 shooting) and 11 boards, Horston had four assists, one steal, and one block in 29½ minutes of action.

“She’s very athletic, and she works hard, not only in the game, but away from the court as well,” Magbegor said. “It’s nice to see her being rewarded. She has done a great job in the starting lineup. We’ve all see how she loves to push the ball, she loves to learn, and she’s great at facilitating. She brings a little bit of everything to the game. It’s nice to see her get her double-double.”

But for all of those solid statistics, Horston’s defense is the big reason coach Noelle Quinn has put her into the first five and has kept her there for the past three games.

“She has been sharp and she has been locked in for these matchups where it has just been days before,” Quinn said. “Whether it’s asking questions, whether it’s in shootaround, she’s making sure it’s very clear, and what you’re seeing on the court is the culmination of her preparation.”

Dallas (4-14) has battled injuries all season. On Thursday, the Wings halted an 11-game losing streak with a 94-88 victory against newly crowned Commissioner’s Cup champion Minnesota. On Saturday, they put 25 points onto the board in the first quarter against the Storm on 70.6 percent shooting from the field (12 of 17).

But after that, Seattle allowed just 16, 18, and 17 points in the final three quarters.

The Storm had a 54-41 lead at halftime and quickly expanded that to a 23-point bulge by starting the third quarter on a 10-0 scoring run: a 3-pointer by Loyd, a lay-in by Ogwumike, a lay-in by Magbegor assisted by Horston after a steal, and a 3-pointer by Magbegor, making it 64-41.

Dallas climbed back, getting within 13 at 72-59, as Arike Ogunbowale got hot with 10 points (she finished with 24), with nine of those coming from long range.

But Seattle then put up the final eight points of the quarter, with Loyd factoring into the last six of those: two free throws, a 19-footer from the left of the lane, and an assist on a lay-in by Sami Whitcomb. That produced an 80-59 lead going into the fourth. It never got closer than 17.



  • Sami Whitcomb came through with a double milestone. She drained the 400th trey of her career, coming with 9:17 left in the second quarter for a 33-25 lead. Then with 1:27 to go in the third, she had her 200th steal. Whitcomb is the 28th player in league history with that particular 400 / 200 combination.
  • Seattle hit 49.2 percent from the floor (32 of 65). Dallas was at 45.7 percent (32 of 70).
  • The Storm had their best night of the season at the free throw line, hitting 28 of 30 (93.3 percent). Loyd was 16 of 17. Their previous highs were 23 of 29 at Washington on May 19, and 92.8 percent (13 of 14 at Dallas) on June 13.
  • Ogwumike, Loyd, and Diggins-Smith each had five of Seattle’s 22 assists. This was its 10th game of 20-plus assist, with a record of 9-1 in those games.
  • The Storm is now 5-5 against Western Conference teams this year. They are 7-1 against the East.


The Storm plays the second game of the two-game set against the Wings on Monday at 7:00 p.m. (Fox 13+ / Prime Video Washington / NBA TV).

—— StormBasketball.com ——