Storm can’t spoil Breanna Stewart’s return to Seattle in loss to Liberty 

Photo by Stanley Morris / fi360 News

Seattle, WA – In the worst start to a season in their franchise history, the Seattle Storm lost their third straight game, as they fell to the New York Liberty by a score of 86-78. Seattle battled hard throughout the entire game, against one of the two super teams in the WNBA, but a big third quarter by New York ultimately dug the Storm a hole they couldn’t fully climb out of. Seattle switched heavily, leaving them in some disadvantageous mismatches that New York was able to exploit in the third, including Breanna Stewart. Stewie poured in ten in the third frame to help the Liberty pull away and deal her former team the loss in front of 8,340 fans inside Climate Pledge Arena.  

Just as they have in the previous two games to open the season, the Storm battled early on to give themselves a good start against the Liberty. Seattle’s Jewell Loyd and Ezi Magbegor lead the charge early and helped keep the Storm in the fight as the Liberty got into their offense. With numerous weapons that could attack the interior, the Liberty were getting inside early and often as they made sure to switch heavily to get Seattle’s smaller players in mismatches. While Loyd and Magbegor led the push, the rest of the Storm lineup pitched in to hang with a New York roster that very well could find themselves in the Finals. Attacking the point and surviving the switches through help defense, the Storm went into halftime only training by seven points.  

“I think anyone can see that. We’ve gotten better every game and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to build, not just for this month, but for the year. We understand it’s gonna be some learning curves and regression, so figuring out rotations, defensive assignments… We’re getting better,” Jewell Loyd, Seattle Storm shooting guard, on if she thinks the team is improving.  

Photo by Stanley Morris / fi360 News

Following the tight first half, things were different coming out of the halftime break. While the Storm did get within three points of the Liberty within the first two minutes and were still hanging around until late, the end of the quarter is where separation began to show. Breanna Stewart closed out that quarter strong in the final four minutes, as he racked up three points and five rebounds as she put her fingerprints all over the game. With Stewart getting activated, the Liberty were able to open their attack a bit more as they got inside while being able to pop out to the perimeter where their shooters could take over.  

“I think coming out of halftime, we knew we had to just be aggressive, the first five minutes of the quarter. That was an emphasis that we had. Going forward, we just have to figure out how to stop teams’ runs. They obviously got that, and I think we just have to do a better job of stopping them in the moment, Ezi Magbegor, Seattle Storm power forward/center, on what happened in the third quarter. 

Following their third loss in a row to begin the season, the Storm will head out on the road for the first time this year. Seattle will head down to Los Angeles to battle the Sparks for the regular season and second this year if you include the preseason contest that the Storm won. Tipoff for their battle on Saturday, June 3rd at 7PM PST. The Sparks haven’t gotten off to the hottest start to the season, winning their first game on the year against the Phoenix Mercury before they have dropped consecutive games to the Las Vegas Aces.