Stewart and Loyd combine for WNBA-record 71 points
SEATTLE – Breanna Stewart tied a WNBA record with 42 points and Jewell Loyd added a personal playoff-high 29 points but it wasn’t enough as the Seattle Storm season ended with a 97-92 loss in Game 4 of the WNBA Semifinals on Tuesday night at Climate Pledge Arena.
Stewart and Loyd’s combined 71 points were a WNBA record for points by two players on the same team in a playoff game, breaking their own record of 65 set in the 2020 WNBA Finals. Stewart’s 42 came on 14-of-22 shooting including 6-of-8 from three-point range. She added seven rebounds two assists and three blocked shots.
The loss was the final game in the 21-year career of WNBA legend Sue Bird, who tallied eight points and eight assists in her finale. She finishes as the WNBA’s regular-season and playoff leader in assists.
Las Vegas opened the game by making its first three shots from the field to take an early 6-0 lead. The Storm responded with a long 20-5 run with Stewart accounting for 13 of those points including a three-pointer to make it 20-11 at the 3:10 mark. The Aces answered right back, scoring eight-straight to make it 20-19 with 44 seconds left in the period, but Loyd drained a three at the with one second left to give Seattle a 23-19 edge at the end of the first.
Loyd kept the hot streak going, draining Seattle’s first three field goals and scoring nine of the Storm’s first 10 points of the quarter as Seattle built a 33-26 lead at the 6:22 mark. Stewart thanked Loyd for her contributions and scored 13 of the Storm’s final 14 points of the quarter. Seattle held a 43-35 lead with 2:22 to go in the half, but the Aces closed strong, outscoring the Storm 9-4 the rest of the way to close to 47-44 at the break.
Vegas came out firing in the third as the Storm offense struggled to find its shot. The Aces jumped up quickly with 10 of the first 12 points of the period, building a 54-49 lead at the 5:29 mark. Seattle would answer, cutting the lead to one on a Loyd triple to make it 55-54 only to see Las Vegas respond with seven-straight points to make it a 62-54 game with 2:51 to go in the third and the Aces took a 66-59 lead to the fourth.
In the Sue Bird drained a three to open the Storm scoring in the fourth quarter—the first field goal by someone other than Stewart or Loyd since Bird’s three at the 7:11 mark of the first quarter. That ignited an 8-1 Storm run which tied the game at 67-67 with 7:30 to play. Vegas followed with six quick points to go back on top and still led by five three minutes later. Seattle went on one final run, taking back the lead with an 8-2 burst as Gabby Williams’ old-fashioned three-point play made it 83-82 with 2:40 to go.
With the game tied at 87-87 and 1:43 to go in the game, the Storm forced a turnover on the Aces’ inbounds play and looked poised to take back the lead. But a Stewart’s off-balance jumper rattled off and Las Vegas’ Chelsea Gray drained a three with the shot clock winding down to put the visitors back on top. After a Storm miss, Gray again drained a tough shot as the clock wound down to seal the game for Vegas.