Jewell Loyd scores 12 of Storm’s final 14 points as Seattle comes back late to win
SEATTLE – Jewell Loyd scored 12 of Seattle’s final 14 points, keying a 14-6 run over the final five minutes of the game as the Storm came from behind to win game one of the three-game first-round series 86-83 over the Washington Mystics on Thursday night at Climate Pledge Arena.
Loyd, who came off a career-high 38 in her final regular-season game, scored 12 of her 16 points in the final five minutes of the game. Breanna Stewart, who scored 12 points in the third quarter, finished with 23 in the game, adding 12 rebounds for her fourth career double-double. Gabby Williams again flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 12 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals and one block.
Loyd, who scored just four points through the first three quarters, closed out the game strong, hitting 4-of-6 over the final five minutes to lead Seattle’s final push. The Storm trailed by five at 77-72 with just under five to play when Loyd hit a step-back three to start the run. After a Washington bucket pushed the lead back to four, Loyd hit another three-pointer with 2:56 left. The Mystics again hit another bucket to stretch the lead to three with 1:58 left, but Loyd answered with a tough fade away to make it a one-point game with 1:34 to go.
After a three-point miss on the other end, Seattle called timeout with under a minute to go. Loyd’s stepback three as the shot clock wound down rattled off, but Tina Charles came up with a huge offensive rebound with 48 seconds to go. Ten seconds later, Loyd hit a pullup jumper with 38 seconds on the clock to give the Storm the lead at 82-81. On the ensuing Mystics possession, a bad pass sailed out of bound with 24.2 seconds left and Loyd hit a pair of free throws after a Mystics foul to stretch it the lead to three. Elena Delle Donne’s three-pointer on the next trip down rattled out and Stewart made a pair of free throws after the Washington foul to close out the game.
The Storm offense continued to click as Seattle shot 50.8% from the field in the game—its sixth-best mark in the postseason in franchise history. The Storm ended the regular-season shooting at least 46.3% in each of its final three games, shooting over 50% in two of those.
Seattle looks to close out the best-of-three series on Sunday as the two teams square off again at Climate Pledge Arena at 1:00 p.m. The game will be nationally broadcast on ESPN.