Storm shoots over 60 percent in 101-69 win over Washington

Five Seattle players score in double figures as offense rolls

By Mark Moschetti, Seattle Storm

SEATTLE – Baskets on 62 percent of their shots. Assists on 73 percent of their baskets.

Numbers like that added up in a big way for the Seattle Storm on Saturday night.

Nneka Ogwumike scored 19 points, Skylar Diggins-Smith dished nine assists to go along with 16 points, and the Storm broke the game open in the third quarter, then put it away in the fourth to rout the Washington Mystics in Climate Pledge Arena, 101-69.

After a 1-3 start, Seattle leveled its record at 3-3, and now has its first two-game winning streak of the season. At the same time, the Storm kept the Mystics winless at 0-6.

Ogwumike and Smith were two of the five Storm players to reach double figures as the team topped the century scoring mark for the first since last June 17 in a 109-103 victory at Dallas. Jewell Loyd chipped in 18 points, Ezi Magbegor joined Diggins-Smith with 16, and Sami Whitcomb came off the bench for 12.

Seattle hit 37 of 60 from the floor (61.7 percent). That included 54.5 percent (12 of 22) from 3-point range). Of those 37 baskets, 27 were assisted, well beyond the previous season high of 20 in Wednesday’s 85-83 victory against Indiana.

“I want to live in 20-plus every day because we have an ability to (do that),” head coach Noelle Quinn said. “That means there’s flow and the ball is moving and all those things are happening in the game. Obviously, I love having five people in double figures. I believe we can have success if we live in that (20-plus assists).”

All 11 players saw action, and eight of those shot 50 percent or better. Whitcomb led the way at 80 percent (4 of 5, all from downtown), Magbegor was at 71.4 percent (5 of 7). Ogwumike (8 of 12) and Diggins-Smith (6 of 9) both shot 66.7.

But that was just on the offensive end.

The Storm limited Washington to just 28 points in the second half, and a mere 10 during the fourth quarter.

“To allow 28 points in the second half is a very good defensive effort,” Quinn said. “I thought there were moments when it could have gone the other way. But I think we tightened up in those moments in the game, where in previous game, it slipped the other way.

“The 100 points is great,” Quinn added. “But at the other end of the floor, the effort to me is what matters the most.”

The Storm scored the last six points of the first quarter, part of a 12-0 run that expanded a 19-15 lead to 31-15. That advantage grew to as many as 15 points at 34-19 early in the second quarter. It was still 14 at 47-33 after a 3-pointer from the left of the lane by Loyd.

But the Mystics then put eight of the next nine points on the board, cutting it down to 48-41 with 1:10 left in the half. A 15-footer from the right of the lane by Ogwumike pushed it back to 50-41 by halftime.

Washington got as close as seven at 52-45 early in the third quarter. The Storm responded with a 9-0 run: a 3-pointer by Magbegor off a feed from Diggins-Smith, a runner by Diggins-Smith, two free throws by Loyd, and a Magbegor lay-in.

The margin never shrank below 12 after that and was at 17 heading into the fourth quarter.


— As sharp as they were from the field, the Storm were just as effective at the free throw line, hitting 83.3 percent (15 of 18).

— Nine of the 11 Seattle players had at least one assist. Along with Diggins-Smith’s nine, Whitcomb dished out five.

— Seattle’s defense limited Washington to just 34.3 percent shooting (24 of 70). That included just 9 of 33 (27.3 percent) after halftime.

— Former Storm player Jade Melbourne, who was traded to the Mystics just before the season opened, logged a career-high 13 points.

— Mercedes Russell came off the bench to grab a team-high seven rebounds.


Seattle begins a two-game Midwest road trip on Tuesday at Chicago, tipping off at 5:00 p.m. Pacific time (Fox 13+/Prime Video Washington). Of the Storm’s next nine games, seven are on the road.

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