Seattle uses big third quarter to down Wings, 95-71

Loyd pours in 26 points to help lead Storm to seventh-straight home victory

Mark Moschetti, Seattle Storm

SEATTLE – Even on a night when Jewell Loyd didn’t score 30 points, she still had a hand in that many.

Loyd tallied 26 of her own, had three assists that led to six more, and the Seattle Storm blew things open during the third quarter, rolling to a 95-71 victory against the Dallas Wings on Monday night.

That gave the Storm (13-6) a sweep of the two-game set in Climate Pledge Arena.

Nneka Ogwumike added 14 points and Ezi Magbegor had 12 for Seattle which won its fourth straight – all of them on the front end of their WNBA-record nine-game homestand. Altogether, the Storm’s home win streak now has reached eight. Their only loss in Seattle was the season-opener to Minnesota on May 14.

Loyd was coming off back-to-back 30-point performances: 34 in an 89-77 victory against Indiana last Thursday and 30 in the first game against Dallas last Saturday, a 97-76 Seattle victory.

On Monday, she was at 26 when she subbed out with 1:47 left in the third quarter and the Storm were ahead by 26 points at 72-46. Loyd, who logged all of her points plus three rebounds, three assists and three steals in just 25 minutes, 24 seconds of action, never took her sweats off the rest of the night. Loyd hit 8 of 14 (3 of 6 from 3-point range) and now has 90 points on 24-of-43 shooting (55.8 percent) in the last three games.

“We talk about how well we’re playing on the defensive end. When we can consistently be efficient in our offensive attack, she’s leading the way, with her aggressive level, and her hitting shots,” head coach Noelle Quinn said. “And her playmaking the last two games as well, has been amazing, in my opinion. … I think she’s in a great pocket right now, playing confidently, playing freely, and hopefully, she can get some more 30-point games.”

Seattle used a 6-0 scoring run at the outset of the second quarter to go ahead for good at 25-20 after being down 20-19 at the end of the first. It grew all the way to 10 on multiple occasions before halftime, the last time at 43-33. The Wings (4-15), who have dropped 13 of their last 14, got it all the way down to six at 43-37 before a pair of free throws by Ogwumike just before the buzzer made it 45-37 at the break.

The margin never got any closer. Up 48-39 early in the third, Seattle put 12 straight points on the board, beginning with an unusual four-point play. Magbegor, on her way to the hoop for a lay-in, was fouled hard by Dallas’ Teaira McCowan. The officials reviewed it and upgraded the call to a Flagrant 1. Magbegor hit both free throws.

Loyd then took over with 10 points in a row. With the Storm retaining possession after the flagrant, she nailed a 17-footer from the right of the lane for 52-39. Then it was a 3-pointer, a steal and coast-to-coast lay-in, and finally another 3-pointer, making it 60-39.

All of that factored into Seattle outscoring the Wings during that period, 34-13.

“The message was, whose adjustments were going to be greater,” Quinn said of her halftime advice. “The third quarter of the previous game, we put our foot on the gas. That was a testament to know that Dallas was going to be more aggressive to start the game. But we just stayed sharp, locked in, focused, disciplined – all of those synonyms. The team responded in a great way.”

Once again, Seattle’s defense came through with a stellar performance, limiting Dallas to 41.9 percent shooting (26 of 62) and just 23.5 percent (4 of 17) from behind the arc. It forced 18 Wings turnovers (11 of which were Storm steals) leading to 24 points. And while Arike Ogunbowale finished with 21 points (she averages 23.9), she hit just 6 of 18 from the field in 38:37 of action, thanks primarily to Jordan Horston’s effort to keep her in check.

“I literally texted Noey at the beginning of the year, and I said, ‘Listen – I want to guard the best player,’” Horston said. “I meant that. I bring so much to the table defensively, especially when I’m locked in. I love it. I literally love stopping whoever is in front of me, the best players – whoever. They’re not going to get what they want to get. I take pride in that, and I’m happy that (the coaches) trust me.

“It’s allowing my game to flow. I’m a lot more loose when I’m starting on the defensive end,” Horston added. “It’s just fun for me.”


  • The Storm hit 45.1 percent from the field (32 of 71), including 52.6 percent (10 of 19) during the decisive third quarter. After going just 1-of-8 from downtown during the first half, they warmed up during the second half at 7 of 17.
  • For the third game in a row and the 11th time this season, Seattle went for 20-plus assists, this time racking up 22. Every starter had at least two, led by Skylar Diggins-Smith’s five. This was the fifth straight game and seventh in the last eight that the Storm have had 20-plus. They have won six of those seven and are 10-1 overall with 20 or more helpers.
  • Seattle was 23 of 27 at the free throw line, led by Magbegor (6 of 6), Ogwumike (5 of 5) and Loyd (7 of 8). In the two-game series against Dallas, the Storm hit 51 of 57 (89.5 percent). In their last five games, the Storm have hit at least 85 percent at the line.
  • The last four Seattle opponents all have been kept below 80 points


With the back-to-back set against Dallas now in the books, the Storm will start another one when Chicago comes to town on Friday for the first of two straight. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. (ION TV). The second game will be Sunday at 3:00 p.m.