By Wyatt Yearout
The Seattle Storm opened up the WNBA Finals on Friday, defeating the Mystics by a final margin of 89-76 to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Jewell Loyd posted a team-high 23 points for Seattle and corralled five rebounds.
Breanna Stewart put in 22 points while also dishing out five assists. Natasha Howard added 19 points for the Storm, shooting a near perfect 8-for-9 from the field.
The Storm shot a blistering 54.7 percent from the floor and outscored the Mystics in the paint, 50-32.
The Storm rattled off a 10-2 run late in the first to gain some initial separation and help take a 24-13 edge after the opening period.
After a slow start for both sides in the second quarter, Sami Whitcomb knocked down a couple big shots for Seattle around the halfway mark to help extend the Storm lead to double-digits. Loyd got hot to wind down the half and knocked down a pair of jumpers to stretch the Storm advantage to 16 after two, at 48-32.
Seattle remained in the zone on the offensive end in the second half and was able to extend its advantage to as much as 27 points in the third quarter. Washington managed to trim the Storm lead to 13 in the fourth, but could not put together a comeback, leading to the Game 1 Seattle victory.
- With tonight’s win, Seattle now holds the league record for most consecutive WNBA Finals games won, with 6 (2 in 2004, 3 in 2010, 1 in 2018), and the record for most consecutive WNBA Finals wins at home, with 5 (2 in 2004, 2 in 2010, 1 in 2018). The Storm remained unbeaten in home games in the WNBA Finals.
- Between the 4:38 mark of the 2nd frame to the 5:03 tick of the 3rd stanza, Stewart (14) and Loyd (17) scored all 31 points for Seattle during that stretch. Seattle turned a 10-point advantage into a 22-point lead over that stretch.
- The Storm improved to 4-0 at home in the 2018 postseason.
- Seattle dished out 23 assists, while holding Washington to 11 on the night.
- With 7 dimes on the night, Sue Bird moved her career finals total to 38, moving the 16-year veteran into a tie (Katie Douglas) for 17th all-time in WNBA Finals history.
Seattle looks to improve to 2-0 in the series as it hosts the Mystics on Sunday in Game 2. Tip-off is set for 12:30 p.m./PT on ABC.