Storm Wins at New York for First Time Since 2010; Seattle’s Record Stands at 13-17
NEW YORK – Entering its current road trip, the Seattle Storm hadn’t beaten Atlanta or New York on the road since the 2010 title-winning season. Three days after defeating the Dream, the Storm had one of its best outings of the season in a 102-78 win at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
Seattle shot 54.8 percent from the field – its third-highest percentage of the year – and reached 100 points for the first time since 2012. Now 4-2 since the Olympic break, the Storm (13-17) is tied with Phoenix for the seventh playoff spot with four games remaining.
Not only was it Seattle’s first win at New York since 2010, but the victory also snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Liberty that dated back to 2012. Seattle won the rebounding battle 41-31 against a New York team that leads the league in rebounding percentage.
The Storm dominated the second half on Wednesday, thanks in large part to the play of its two young stars. Jewell Loyd had a game-high 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting, while Breanna Stewart finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Crystal Langhorne returned to the starting lineup after missing one game due to injury, and she added 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting and nine boards. Sue Bird dished out a game-high eight assists and scored 12 points.
Loyd, who had her two lowest-scoring games of the season in the previous two meetings with New York, is now averaging 20.5 points per game since the Olympic break. Tina Charles paced New York (20-10) with 22 points on Wednesday.
Loyd was aggressive early on, scoring nine quick points on 4-of-5 shooting. Both teams started with hot shooting in the opening minutes, as it was already 19-16 in favor of New York midway through the first quarter. The Liberty maintained a slight edge for most of the frame, but a Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis three-pointer put Seattle in front 26-25 at the end of the quarter. The Storm never trailed the rest of the game.
Stewart nailed a three-pointer to make it 36-28, forcing a New York timeout early in the second quarter. But the Liberty responded with an 8-0 run, including a pair of treys by Sugar Rodgers, to tie the game. Loyd and Stewart each recorded 12 points in the first half, while Langhorne had nine points on 4-of-5 shooting, and the Storm took a 48-46 edge into the break.
Langhorne and Alysha Clark each had a pair of buckets in the opening minutes of the second half, and the Storm lead was increased to double digits on a Bird three-pointer. Langhorne, who ranks among the all-time leaders in field goal percentage, went 5-of-5 in the third quarter to help Seattle maintain a sizeable advantage. Her layup made it a 78-66 edge heading into the final period.
Seattle doubled up New York in the final frame, holding the Liberty to just 12 points. It was 81-66 after another Mosqueda-Lewis three-pointer, and the lead would continue to expand as Bird and Stewart did much of the damage down the stretch. Stewart scored the final four points of a solid stretch for the Storm that made it 90-71 with six minutes to go.
Seattle will play the final game of its road trip on Friday in a crucial matchup with Washington, which sits right behind the Storm in the standings. The Storm then returns home for a Sunday matchup with Los Angeles.