Mercury can’t handle the heat from the Storm, Seattle romps to 97-74 victory in all-around showing 

Seattle Storm (Photo by Stan Morris / fi360 News)

Seattle, WA – Following back-to-back frustrating losses at home, the Seattle Storm turned in a complete team effort to defeat the struggling Phoenix Mercury by a score of 97-74. After taking a three-point lead on a Moriah Jefferson bucket with five and a half minutes left in the first quarter, Phoenix never had the advantage throughout the rest of the game as the Storm were able to play smart, focused basketball to pick up their fourth win on the season. Despite exciting and versatile rookie Jordan Horston missing this game with a shoulder injury, the Storm were able to get contributions from every single player available. 

The first quarter of this contest was a unique one, not in the fact that the Storm lead after those first ten minutes, but because Seattle hit the same number of shots as Phoenix and were generally horrible from the field. How could the Storm build a lead and look strong in the first quarter despite a poor shooting frame? Getting to the free throw line and establishing a paint presence early against a Mercury team that has one of the league’s best bigs in Brittney Griner. None of the eight Seattle players that saw action in those first ten minutes made more than one shot, but four of them sunk both free throws that they saw. Another key factor that helped down the road was that with that foul trouble that Phoenix got into, three of the four Mercury players off the bench that checked in during quarter one picked up at least a foul. All in all, the Storm set themselves up for further success throughout the game.  

“Defensively, we were in our coverages, we were locked in on that side, which allowed us to get some breakaway layups, transition shots, which we’re really good at, as well as on the offensive side, we moved the ball really well tonight. We were able to penetrate and fabricate, and people knocked down shots, so it kind of opened a lot of things up for a lot of our shooters,” Jewell Loyd, Seattle Storm guard, on what worked well for the team.  

While not necessarily a perfect product by any means, the Storm have been close in all but two of their losses and generally haven’t looked like a bad team this season despite the massive overturn. The Storm have struggled in closing out games and generally in the paint, whether that be the rebounds department, second chance points, or points in the paint, but that wouldn’t be the story today. After a first quarter that set them up for furthered success, the Sounders were able to build off a big second quarter that saw them score 30 points and turn things around from the field as they shot 50% from beyond the arch and in general. The better strokes and taking care of the ball were a quality recipe for Seattle, who took a fifteen-point lead into half and never looked back.  

“The biggest thing that stood out, was just our ball movement. I just remember getting stops, our pace was up, but just the ball wasn’t sticking, we found open teammates, and we knocked down open shots,” Noelle Quinn, Seattle Storm head coach, on what stood out to her from this win.  

Following arguably their most complete win of the year, the Storm will head out on a one-game road trip following a three-game homestand. Seattle will essentially play a home and home set against the Minnesota Lynx, heading over to the land of 10,000 lakes for their next contest on Tuesday, June 27th with a tipoff time of 5PM PST against the Lynx. Following that battle in Minnesota, the teams will both head back to Seattle for the rematch on June 29th.