Seattle, WA – Behind the great performances of Tina Charles and Breanna Stewart, the Seattle Storm were able to avenge their July 3rd loss to Atlanta. Seattle takes the season series 2-1 against the Dream, thanks in part to Charles and Stewart combining for 50 of the 82 Storm points. The stifling Seattle defense again did their job, creating nightmares for the Dream as they were held to a 34.5% from the field.
Storm center Tina Charles had her best game as a member of the Seattle franchise, posting a monstrous 27 point and 15 rebound stat line. Add four blocks to that, and you get a small idea of what Atlanta had to deal with when Charles was on the court. In the past two games, Charles has overtaken Ezi Magbegor for the starting role, and showed out, notching consecutive double-double efforts. Teammate Breanna Stewart discussed the importance of Charles’ involvement in the offense, and Charles herself would discuss switching into a starting role.
“There’s definitely an extra effort to get Tina the ball. Especially today when she was on the block, trying to find her because she was in a really good groove. Atlanta was leaving her open from the perimeter, so she was able to score from all over the floor,” Stewart stated.
In regards to starting on the bench but now starting, Charles said “It really helped to come off of the bench when I first got here, just being able to watch Stewie and Ezi and their movements within the offense. Just knowing that your role changes as the team changes, this is a different team, and my role has changed. That’s the beauty of being able to adjust.”
Seattle’s calling card for the season has been their suffocating defense, which often jumpstarts their offensive attack and transition. From the length of Breanna Stewart, the basketball IQ of Jewell Loyd and Sue Bird, to the shot blocking ability of Ezi Magbegor and Tina Charles. Seattle has different tools all over their starters and bench to cause issues for opposing teams, and that continued in this matchup. Atlanta was held to 34.5% from the field and only 24%, as leading scorer Rhyne Howard was held to 30% from the field.
The Storm have been able to stay the course despite losses here and there throughout their schedule. Outside of a stretch that came right after the season opener, the Storm have not lost more than three games in a row. Seattle has a tough task in their next matchup, as they look to avoid a season sweep by the Connecticut Sun. Tipoff is at 4PM PST on July 28th inside of Mohegan Sun arena.