INDIANAPOLIS – Most teams are delighted if they can play .500 basketball on the road – that’s 5-0-0.
The Seattle Storm just went way better – way better, as in 5-and-0.
Breanna Stewart had 21 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for her second straight double-double, and Seattle finished the game on a 10-3 scoring run in the final 6½ minutes to beat the Indiana Fever on Thursday night in Indiana Farmers Coliseum, 79-69.
The Storm (12-2) thus won all five games of their nine-day trip: two in Atlanta, one in Connecticut, and now two in Indiana. What’s more, they won all five of them by 10 or more points and are now 7-0 away from home this season, the only perfect road ledger in the league.
Thursday’s victory was Seattle’s 14th in a row on the road, including playoffs, thereby tying the overall WNBA record streak, set by the Los Angeles Sparks bridging the 2002 and 2003 seasons. It also was the Storm’s 11th straight regular-season road win, just one short of the record 12 set in 2000, also by the Sparks.
But as was the case on Tuesday when Seattle put an 87-70 victory into the book, the Fever (1-13) were well within reach most of the night. Thanks to a 10-2 run at the outset of the second quarter, they forged a 31-26 lead – the first time on the entire road trip the Storm had trailed by more than two. (The last time they trailed by more than that was 13-7 at home against Dallas on June 4.)
But Seattle closed the half on a 14-5 run to take a 40-36 lead into the locker room. It stretched to 55-48 midway through the third quarter when the Fever ran off seven straight to forge a 55-55 tie.
The Storm responded with 10 in a row for a 65-55 lead and never trailed again. Indiana, which has lost nine straight, got as close as three at 69-66 with 6:31 left. The Storm came out of a timeout and finished the game with a 10-3 burst, forcing the Fever into seven straight missed field goal tries in a span of five minutes.
Stewart’s double-double was her seventh of the year, topped the 20-point mark for the eighth time. Her 15 boards pushed her average back above 10 for the season, now at 10.1.
Jewell Loyd added 15 points for the Storm, and Sue Bird had 13 to go along with a game-high seven assists. Seattle, the league’s best passing team, had 22 assists on its 31 made shots.
The Storm returns home to Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett on Tuesday to play the Washington Mystics at 7:00 p.m. (Joe TV). They will alternate home and road games for the final three weeks leading up to the Olympic break.