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Storm continue to find rhythm in 81-65 win over Fever

Photo by Aaron Nelson / fi360 News

Seattle, WA – For the third time this season, the Seattle Storm defeated the Indiana Fever. The July 17th win would be Seattle’s fourth in a row, pitting them just a game behind the Las Vegas Aces for second in the Western Conference. Seattle’s defensive grinded out another great lock down performance, while MVP candidate Breanna Stewart led the Storm on offense. With the win, Seattle continues to inch towards their potential of a title contender, and they seem to be finding their rhythm at the right time.

Seattle’s defense has been their calling card all season long, setting the tone for the type of game that they want to play. Storm basketball in 2022 has been play tough, attacking defense, and your offensive firepower will wear your opponent down. Seattle likes to play in transition as well, that combined with their stamina makes them a very tough team to keep up with. This formula worked for Seattle in this game, with the added factor of their bench, which has improved their play as of late. Tina Charles discussed her impact off of the bench, while teammate Breanna Stewart reflected on what Charles brings to the team.

Photo by Aaron Nelson / fi360 News

“It’s not what I see on the court, it’s just who I am. That’s just preparation meeting opportunity, that’s all it is. Regardless of the situation, I am going to try and be as dominant as I can. I try to take advantage of every opportunity, and I love to score. I think everybody knows that, so I was just taking advantage there,” Charles remarked.

“Tina brings a lot; everyone knows that she is an amazing player and one of the best in our league. The way that she can really affect and change a game is big, but if I’m being completely honest the thing that she has brought has just been confidence. I could see the confidence that the rest of the team gets and thriving off of what she brings,” Stewart said about her teammate.

Storm forward Breanna Stewart, nicknamed the Queen, is gunning for more gold this season. While Stewart already has plenty of hardware including two WNBA titles, two WNBA Finals MVPs, she’s looking to add a second league MVP award. Stewart led the way for the Storm in this game, totaling 25 points and flirting with a double-double thanks to eight rebounds. Simply put, Seattle has gotten performances like these out of Stewart regularly, as she leads the league in points per game, and is second in steals per game and offensive efficiency.

Photo by Aaron Nelson / fi360 News

Earlier in the season, prior to Tina Charles being signed, it seemed like Seattle may have found their footing as they had won eight of their ten games from May 18th through June 14th. The addition of Charles stirred controversy at first, as some were worried that adding her so late into the season could mess up the chemistry in the Storm locker room. Charles has been finding her rhythm with Seattle, mentoring budding star center Ezi Magbegor, and the Storm have won six of their last seven. Seattle is clicking at the right time, it’s up to them to keep it up and potentially lock up the top seed in the West.

The Storm get back to business on July 20th as they travel to battle the defending champions. Seattle will tipoff against the Chicago Sky in a unique 9AM PST start time. A marquee matchup against one of the best franchises in the WNBA and the defending league champs gets an early start time, but the action won’t be sparse. A big matchup for two teams coming into the game with four game win streaks and considering the cream of the crop in the WNBA.

Photo by Aaron Nelson / fi360 News

Dodgers defeat the Cardinals with Betts

Photo by Jerry Kelly

St. Louis, MI – Tyler Anderson took the mound in the show me state with his left arm on full display completely stifling the St. Louis bats 4 strike outs 2 BB 3 hits and no runs over 6 IP in a dominant performance.

Dodgers take 2 of 3 from St. Louis. Not to be out done Freddie Freeman’s scorching bat has been smoking since Tuesday. Freeman went 9-11  1 HR batting .818 in the three game set top of the 6th Freeman was finally retired of reaching safely in nine straight  

Dakota Hudson and Tyler Anderson held bats scoreless until the top of the fourth frame when Justin Turner RBI single broke the tie drives in Freeman.

Photo by Jerry Kelly

In the 6th inning a Trea Turner single off of Hudson’s glove proved huge as will smith would double to left center scoring Turner to make 2-0 giving Smith an RBI in six straight games.  

Paul Goldschmidt did his best to get the Cards on the broad in the 6th swing and driving in Anderson first offering to deep right Mookie Betts had to be on his horse and he was tracking it down just before the right field wall for the first out but Mookie wasn’t done just yet very next batter Dylan Carlson laced one down right field line headed for second Mookie with a spin move and a double pump fired a one hop strike to SS Trea Turner to nail Carlson at 2nd.

Goldschmit and Carlson at bats were the only threats the Dodgers pitchers would face in 9 frames today. St. Louis falls to 48-44 in the Central, Los Angeles improves to 58-30 as they hold a 9.5 game lead in the West. The Cardinals host the Reds next, while the Dodgers visit Angeles pitchers Hudson L 6-6, Anderson w 10-1 

Sky takes down the Sparks again

Photo by Brandon Bashir / fi360 News

Los Angeles, CA – Chicago Sky rookie Rebekah Gardner scored 18 points with 10 rebounds to help defeat the Los Angeles Sparks 80-68 on Thursday night at Crypto.com Arena.

“It’s hard because she wasn’t in the draft conversations,” Chicago Sky coach James Wade said on Gardner’s case for Rookie of the Year. “If she was in the draft, you would pick her. She’d be a lottery pick. She deserves to be in (Rookie of the Year) conversations, and she showed why tonight.”

Azura Stevens added 14 points and former Spark Candace Parker grabbed 11 rebounds as the Sky improved to 18-6 on the season. Parker was held scoreless for the first time in her career.

Photo by Brandon Bashir / fi360 News

“This is a game that epitomizes the way she plays,” Wase said. “She doesn’t have to score to affect the game. Sometimes your shot doesn’t fall. We know she’ll make shots next game.”

Nneka Ogwumike, who led the Sparks with 16 points, eclipsed 5,000 career points and became the 23rd player in WNBA history to score more than 5,000 points. She joins Lisa Leslie and Parker as the only Sparks’ players to reach that milestone.

“I’m proud to have done it,” Ogwumike said. “Legacy is important for me. To be in company with Lisa and CP, that’s really huge. I’m grateful to be able to achieve that with a Sparks jersey.”

Photo by Brandon Bashir / fi360 News

Los Angeles took a 17-16 lead at the end of the first quarter but were held to 11 points in the second quarter. They were able to get the deficit down to single digits but went into halftime down 37-28.

Chicago led by as many as 18 points in the second half and out scored the Sparks 52-31 in the second and third quarter. The Sparks went cold during that span, shooting 38.5 percent and turning the ball over 13 times. The Sparks will look to rebound from the loss when they host the Indiana Fever mom Tuesday, July 19. Chicago is back in action on Saturday against the Dallas Wings

Photo by Brandon Bashir / fi360 News

Sparks can’t control Delle Donne

Elena Delle Donne drives to the basket. Photo by fi360 News

Los Angeles, CA – Inside, outside Elena Delle Donne was on fire dropping a game high 26 points in Washington Mystics 94 – 81 victory of the LA Sparks.

The Mystics came out strong with a game plan to attack the paint. They out scored the Sparks 40-26 in the paint.

Photo by fi360 News

They feed off the energy earlier, this being first game after all-star break the teams were not at full strength. But the Mystics were more prepared jumped on them fast.

With 3:14 on click in 1st quarter the Mystics already jumped out to 24 – 14 lead making Sparks coach Fred Williams call a timeout to regroup his team.

“We have a solid defensive team, but we were slow today, ” said Chiney Ogwumike, “It was good experience to not have her (Nneka Ogwumike) her tonight, so we don’t take her for granted.”

Liz Cambage in the paint. Photo by fi360 News

That 10 point lead was the norm for most of the game, even with a few Sparks run to narrow the lead to five point a few times. As soon as they thought they could break the cushion someone would drop a bucket.

Natasha Cloud was just as deadly shooting 75% from the three finishing with 21 points and 9 assists. For another solid performance at the guard position.

With the Sparks trailing by 5 point with just over 6 minutes left in the game, the Mystics were on fire with three 3-pointers by Delle Donne intertwined with two more 3-pointers added by Cloud to press the lead to 15.

“She (Delle Donne) is a challenge to guard her anywhere on the court,” said C. Ogwumike.

After tonight’s loss the Sparks have to move past this game and protect home court. They have 8 home comes on the schedule which is heavy and in their favor if they can get healthy and win.

Photo by fi360 News

“We control our destiny, ” said Brittney Sykes, “We have to protect home court.”

The series now split one game each with there last meeting in Washington on August 7th.

Next up for the Sparks will be Chicago Sky Thursday night at home with the opportunity to take the series.

Storm pull away late to win third straight, beat Wings 83-74

Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

Seattle, WA – Their bench kept them in a tight game with the Dallas Wings, but it’d be the Storm’s Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd who helped Seattle pull away. Storm veterans Tina Charles and Stephanie Talbot provided a necessary spark off the bench, helping Seattle keep pace with a Wings team that turned defense into offense. On a quick turnaround from All-Star weekend, the Storm starters did not kick into gear until late in the third. Seattle has won their third straight game, as well as their third straight against Dallas since a June 3rd loss at home to the Wings.

The bench centers for both teams came up big in this contest, as Teaira McCowan and Tina Charles had critical impacts. The Storm had Charles to call off the bench, and she provided a spark to a slow starting Seattle. Charles poured in eleven points and nine rebounds. For Dallas, McCowan played starter minutes and totaled a double-double. McCowan poured in 18 points, adding ten rebounds and two blocks. Seattle failed to do much to stop McCowan, and she was only one of three Dallas players with a net positive impact when on the floor. Storm forward Breanna Stewart discussed McCowan’s impact postgame.

Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

“It’s tough, she uses her body really well and is able to finish. Her development from last year to this year is showing in just the way that she can finish over both shoulders. Really, I think that when you’re guarding her you have to try and not let her get the ball. If she does, then the double (team) has to come quick. Knowing that she is really difficult for us to guard, putting her in a lot of action and pull screens and making her work at both ends” Stewart reflected.

While Storm big three members Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart made their mark, Seattle got key performances from Australian players Stephanie Talbot and Ezi Magbegor. Talbot’s play earned her more minutes than starter Gabby Williams due to her tough defense and offensive approach. Ezi Magbegor continues to shine in her 2022 campaign, flirting with a double-double. Her 13 points and eight rebounds were big as Seattle tried to match McCowan. Yesterday after practice, Tina Charles was seen offering Magbegor tips to help her get better. Head coach Noelle Quinn discussed the importance of Magbegor’s growth.

“It’s huge to have Tina help Ezi. I think about what Crystal Langhorne was for Ezi as well a couple of years ago and being in that position. Having been an all-star in our league and a champion, to have that support behind you as a young player. Ezi is super receptive on all of that which makes it even better. Even with Jantel to start the year, her veteran presence. She’s an All-Star, a champion, sixth woman of the year. She’s had success in our league, and to surround Ezi with all of that knowledge, to give her the blueprint, the tools she needs to be successful. It’s gonna cultivate her to be an amazing player,” Quinn said.

The Storm seem to have mixed decorated veteran Tina Charles in with their tight knit group, and it is paying dividends. The offensive attack has been effective at a high clip, as the third quarter in this contest was the third time over the last two games that Seattle has shot at 75% from the field. In their last win, they set historic offensive marks in a blowout win of the Sparks. There are spots to clean up for

Seattle, but there are more positives than negatives at this point. The Storm look to be finding the juggernaut form that has made other teams dread seeing them on the schedule once again.

Seattle’s next contest comes this Sunday, July 17th against the Indiana Fever. The Storm host the Fever inside Climate Pledge Arena with a 3PM PST tipoff, as the teams meet for the third time in a stretch of six games. The Storm look to remain undefeated against Indiana, and could possibly overtake the Las Vegas Aces for the first overall seed in the Western Conference.

Storm open the flood gates against Sparks in historic victory

Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

Los Angeles, CA – A grinding first quarter made it seem like the Los Angeles Sparks may have the Seattle Storm figured out once again. Seattle made adjustments, and ultimately blew out the Sparks by 37 points.

Sparks Liz Cambage stuck on the court. Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

The Sparks three game winning streak is snapped, and Seattle ends their Commissioner’s Cup run in 2022 on a positive note. The win pushes the Storm to the third best record in the WNBA, and nipping at Las Vegas heels for the first seed in the Western Conference.

Breanna Stewart had a solid quarter for Seattle with 12 points, but it was obvious that more needed to be done. The Storm would outscore the Sparks heavily in the second quarter. Following that lopsided second frame, Seattle never looked back. A 27-11 fourth quarter sealed the deal for Seattle, and set several historic marks including the best shooting percentage in franchise history and the largest road win in team history. Seattle head coach reflected on the win postgame.

“We were locked in from the jump. We knew that it was important to come out with the mindset of not knowing who was going to be on the floor, but that wouldn’t dictate how we wanted to play offensively and defensively. I thought that we got a lot of contributions from everyone, top to bottom. It’s a good way to end before the All-Star break,” Quinn said.

Breanne Stewart guarding Nenka Ogwumike. Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

A key component of any successful basketball team is a good second unit, and it was a tale of two benches in this game. Seattle’s bench saw two key contributors stand out, as Stephanie Talbot and Tina Charles both recorded double digit point efforts. The addition of Charles to the roster is obviously big on its own, but being able to have her come off the bench is huge. For Los Angeles, the second unit was unable to perform for the Sparks, especially without several key players.

Sparks guard Lexie Brown discussed the team’s situation postgame

“We just gotta put our heads down and work. We didn’t know that Chiney was playing until right before the game started, things like that you just have to roll with the punches. As long as everyone focuses on getting healthy by playoffs, we are just going to have to do what we can with what we have,” Brown stated.

These two teams are in very different situations. Los Angeles is a talented team that is currently without several key players and is working under an interim head coach, but have found success in the past month. The Storm are a juggernaut, finding its stride, and just recently adding an eight-time All-Star in Tina Charles. The lopsided result is a surprise, as the last time the two faced off Los Angeles was able to contain Seattle handily. While the result has obvious differing effects for both teams, there is still plenty of season as we approach the All-Star break.

Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

This Sunday, July 10th is the WNBA All-Star game, featuring Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, and Jewell Loyd from the Storm. Nneka Ogwumike is the lone representative from the Sparks.

The Storm’s next game will come on Tuesday, July 12th against the Dallas Wings at Climate Pledge Arena with a 12PM PST tipoff.

The Sparks next game comes on the same day, Tuesday July 12th, against the Washington Mystics with a 7:30PM PST tipoff at Crypto Arena.

Sparks Team Push past the Mercury

Los Angeles, CA – After being tied at 70-70 the Sparks dug in their heels and played some defense to pull out a 78 – 75 victory for their third win in a row. Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike lead her team charge with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.

Today’s victory was a team win having the all five starters scoring in double digits. Liz Cambage dropped 19 points, and 7 rebounds. 

Ogwumike playing defense. Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

“Came out hard for a full 40 mins,” said Ogwumike.

Skylar Diggins-Smith kept her team in the game with a team high 22 points, 5 assists.

Sparks third period wasn’t the strongest but they maintained the two-point lead from halftime behind a strong presence in the paint by Ogwumike. At this point the they were even with 24 points scored in the paint where tonight’s battle was won.

After being tied at 26 the Sparks push away to 10-point lead 36-26 until Skylar Diggins-Smith dropped a much need bucket with 4 minutes left in the half.

Canada making it tough to bring the ball up the court.
Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

The Sparks Senior Vice President Natalie White escorted former Lakers great Michael Cooper and his family to courtside seats by the bench. Already being a former coach of the Sparks in 2000-2004, 2007-2009 winning consecutive WNBA Championships 2001 and 2002. Will he leave his current coaching job at Culver City High School to fill the Sparks vacancy?

Cambage started the first period imposing her height in the paint scoring team high 9 while the team had 10 points in paint. The Sparks were down 20-18 after one.

This being the teams third meeting protecting home court has been the theme with both teams wining at home. They meet one more time on July 28th in Phoenix for the fourth and final time.

Coming into today’s back-to-back game riding a two-game winning streak led by interim coach Fred Williams. With 9-11 record is good enough for third place in the western conference going into this game.

Liz Cambage shooting over Turner. Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

“We are a good team too,” said Ogwumike, “People are trying to make the right plays each time down the court.”

The team has been changing right before our eyes, with a team game forces. You can see that coach Williams has the team playing both sides of the court.

Now they will use this homestand to get in more practice time and continue to grow as a team.

The Sparks will host the Seattle Storm on Thursday July 7, at 7:30pm back here at Crypto.com

Sparks turning tides in July

Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News

LOS ANGELES– Los Angeles Sparks head coach Fred Williams said it; Lexie Brown said it; Nneka Ogwumike said it — the Sparks would look decisively different come July. So far, they’re right.


After starting the season with limited practice time and eight of their first ten games on the road, Los Angeles is taking advantage of their time at home.

Canada on the way to the basket. Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News


In their first game of a 7-game homestand, the Sparks opened July with back-to-back wins. After a win in Dallas against the Wings, Los Angeles beat the New York Liberty 65-57.


“We are starting to string things together,” Ogwumike said.

Ogwumike led the Sparks with 22 points — with five other players contributing double figures.


It took the seven-time All-Star one quarter to jump-start the Los Angeles Sparks. After only scoring six points in the first two quarters, Ogwumike scored 10 points in the third quarter, pushing Los Angeles to a 25-14 run.

Katie Lou sets up for a shot. Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News


Then when the Sparks needed a stop to seal the win, Ogwumike secured the loose ball to put the game away.
The difference in what has transformed Los Angeles’ fortunes — practice and playing at home.


“We are finding our chemistry, and we are at home,” Liz Cambage said. “We maybe spent, what, 20 days on the road in May. That was the wildest start I’ve ever had to a WNBA season.”


“I think the way we handled May; we just knew we got to stay together. We’ve got to find this chemistry.” “When I reflect on May and how far we have come, it might have been a short amount of time for y’all, but ooooh, it was a lifetime for us.”

Photo by Chanel Foster / fi360 News


Coach Williams’ belief in the team never wavered.

“I’ve been there before,” Williams said.
“I look back at my days with the Atlanta Dream team that went to the finals at 17-17 and no one thought we would get there. I just feel really comfortable with this team. I feel like family. I feel like ‘Uncle Fred,’ ‘Coach Fred,’ ‘Jed,’ or whoever you want to call it. But we have a great time together. This is a fun team to coach. I just feel very confident that they can get the job done. We still have work to do. A lot of work.”

Storm rumble to blowout win over Fever

Jewell Loyd is all smiles as the team huddles up after a timeout. (Neil Enns/Seattle Storm)

Seattle, WA – In their July 1st matchup against the Indiana Fever, the Seattle Storm romped to a blowout victory. The first quarter between the two teams were within single digits, but Seattle was able to pull away after the first 15 minutes.

The Storm built towards their full potential, as newly signed Tina Charles looked much better in her second game with Seattle. With the win, the Storm have now won eight of their last ten games.

Eight-time WNBA all-star Tina Charles is a huge addition to the Storm lineup, and will certainly be a critical player when the postseason comes around. Her first game with the Storm was not much to marvel at, but that much should be expected when a player that just recently signed plays their first minutes with a team.

WNBA

In her second game with the Storm, Charles made a noticeable impact. Charles led Seattle in rebounding, and was the team’s leading scorer off the bench. Teammate Gabby Williams discussed Charles’ play.

“She’s just being Tina. That’s all we need from her, really. She’s just being herself; I think that she is going to integrate really well. It is not easy to come in during the middle of the season and learn all of these offenses, all of our schemes, principles, everything. What is great about her is that she doesn’t need to know all of that. That says a whole lot about who she is,” Williams said.

While Breanna Stewart led Seattle in scoring, the Storm saw contributions up and down their roster. Seattle shot poorly from three, one of their staples offensively, so they used contributions from Ezi Magbegor, Gabby Williams, and Steph Talbot to push past a young

Indiana team. The Storm attacked the rim, getting to the charity stripe often and passing the ball around. Head coach Noelle Quinn discussed the team’s mindset of getting to the rim.

“It was one of our goals, we know that Indiana fouls the most in the league at the moment. We wanted to take more free throws than Indiana attempted. I thought that Stewie was very aggressive, honestly, she gets beat up a lot getting to her spots on the block. I thought she had great physicality and poise getting to the line,” Quinn remarked.

After a rough and tumble beginning to the season, it mostly seems like the Storm have found out how to win together. With that being said, Seattle is now trying to integrate Tina Charles into the roster, after going through the growing pains of not having enough practice with Gabby Williams and Briann January. There will be some potential frustrations in getting the chemistry just right, but it should be more positive rather than negative to add Charles to this lineup.

Seattle’s next contest comes on the road, this Sunday, July 3rd. Tipoff is at 12PM PST against the Atlanta Dream. The Storm and Dream face off in a rematch off their June 7th matchup in Seattle, when the Storm won by 12. The game takes place in Atlanta, as the Storm go on a three-game road trip.

Storm vanquish Aces in back-and-forth battle of top Western Conference teams

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 27: Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum (10)

Seattle, WA – In a battle between the top two teams in the Western Conference, Seattle weathered Las Vegas offensive attack to win 88-78. A tough battle throughout, the Storm were able to get into winning time in the fourth quarter. Seattle outscored the Aces by eight points, and members of the big three were able to hit clutch shots to slam the door shut. With the win, Sue Bird became the winningest player in WNBA history, notching victory number 324.

Storm shooting guard Jewell Loyd seems to get better every game, and always shows out. The “Gold Mamba” made impacts on both ends of the court, leading the game in scoring with 24 points. On the defensive end, Loyd was tasked with guarding Las Vegas guards, including Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young, and Loyd was able to earn 24 +/- rating on the game. Loyd also helped Seattle force 20 turnovers on the Aces, and she would discuss that postgame.

“We executed our game plan. Whether we were switching or trapping, we made sure that they did not know what we were going to do. Once they read things, we changed them on the fly. You have to be unpredictable at times. Throwing different looks at their guards helped a lot,” Loyd would say.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 27: Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum (10)

Decorated veteran Tina Charles made her Storm debut in this contest, after previously deciding to leave the Phoenix Mercury after it became clear to her that she could not win a title there. Charles headed to the Pacific Northwest, and brings spacing and rebounding to Seattle.

While Charles’ stats were limited in her first game (Four points, five rebounds, 1 assist in 16 minutes), her new team is obviously excited to have another player of her caliber around. Seattle coach Noelle Quinn discussed what she saw from Charles and what she expects from her.

“She is going to garner a lot of attention. Her understanding of the game is big. Adapting to the way we play, automatically, is good to see. We are gonna get her in spots to be successful, but to have a player of that caliber on the floor is going to help everybody else,” Quinn stated.

Photo by Aaron Nelson / fi360 News

The fourth quarter has been huge for Seattle in just about every single contest this season, ironically not the first contest between these two teams though. The first time the Storm and Aces met this season was a blow out by Las Vegas. Seattle made sure that there would be no repeat of that, and no late collapse as well. In the final seven minutes, Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd combined for five critical jump shots to seal the win. This win not only means a lot because the Storm beat the current best team in the WNBA, but it was a Commissioner’s Cup game as well. Seattle is another step closer to defending their inaugural Commissioner’s Cup title from last season.

Seattle’s next matchup comes on Friday July 1st at Climate Pledge Arena against the Indiana Fever. Indiana has been struggling in recent years, and that continues when they travel to Seattle with their 5-16 record. Star guard Kelsey Mitchell will look to do all she can to keep the Fever in the game against an already loaded roster that now gets to work Tina Charles into their game plan. Tipoff is at 7PM PST.

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