Storm defense shines in 88-78 win over Las Vegas

Loyd scores game-high 24 as Seattle holds WNBA’s top offense to just 78 points

SEATTLE – The Seattle defense put on a show and the offense held up its end of the bargain as the Storm knocked off the WNBA’s top team 88-78 on Wednesday night at Climate Pledge Arena.

Jewell Loyd paced the offense with a game-high 24 points including 11 over the final seven minutes of the game as Seattle (12-7) pulled away for the win. Stephanie Talbot added a season-high 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting including three from beyond the arc, and recorded a game-high three steals as well.

But Seattle’s defense stole the show, holding the league’s top offense to just 78 points while forcing the Aces (14-5) into a season-high 20 turnovers. The Storm also held Las Vegas below 40% shooting for just the third time this season (39.7%).

The Storm offense was clicking on all cylinders as Seattle shot 44.3% from the field including 48.3% from three-point range, connecting on a season-high 14 three-pointers. Loyd had four from beyond the arc while Sue Birdand Talbot each added three.

The first half was a back-and-forth battle where the lead changed 10 times with neither team leading by more than six and the Aces up by six at the half.

Seattle came out strong to start the second half, scoring 14 before Vegas could get a bucket. But the Aces roared back with a 13-2 run of their own to tie the game at 60-60 late in the third.

The score remained close with the game knotted at 72-72 with 6:22 remaining when Seattle pulled away, closing the game on a 19-6 run to secure the victory. The final run featured 11 from Loyd while Breanna Stewart tallied six of her 14 points over the stretch.

With the win, Bird, who recorded 13 points and six assists, became the WNBA’s winningest player, with 324 career wins, passing Lindsay Whalen for the top spot.

Center Tina Charles made her Storm debut two minutes into the contest, finishing with four points and five rebounds in 16 minutes of action. The game marked the first time she came off the bench in her 374-game career.

The Storm closes out its four-game homestand on Friday, hosting the Indiana Fever at Climate Pledge Arena at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Fox 13+ and streamed on Facebook Watch and Prime Video (WA only).