Seattle, WA – The Seattle Storm defense had to lock down a last second possession for the second game in a row. Seattle held Los Angeles Nneka Ogwumike to a contested corner three that wouldn’t hit, giving Seattle their second straight win. Storm forward Breanna Stewart showed out, recording a season high 28 points. Sparks center Liz Cambage also recorded a season high in points, pouring in 25. The Storm gained a win in the Commissioner’s cup standings with the victory.
Seattle forward Breanna Stewart ruined to “best player in the world” form in the May 20th win, just a few days after returning from the COVID list. Stewart started the game off with a purpose, dropping eleven points in the first quarter to show that any rust had been shaken off. For the most part, Seattle struggled offensively as Jewell Loyd was the only other player in double digits. To add to that, the Storm continue to struggle from beyond the arc as they shot 28.6%. Stewart was able to carry the load for Seattle,
“Any player when they see shots falling, it continues to build confidence. If I can get to the basket and get easy ones going, then it kind of opens up everything else. Just continuing to be aggressive, attack when I could,” Stewart stated in response to how seeing her shots fall early helped the team.
Once again, the Storm had to hold on for the win as they let the other team catch up in the second half. Seattle held a ten-point lead at the half, and their highest lead was 18. The Storm have had issues holding the lead this season, and their poor shooting has factored into this. Seattle’s long homestand should help the team fix this, as they now have a week between games. Practices at home with the whole team will help improve the team’s chemistry, especially considering that Gabby Williams and Briann January did not get full training camps with the team. Storm point guard Sue Bird spoke about how Seattle built the lead, and then lost it.
“I think that it was a product of them turning up the heat a little bit and us relaxing at the same time. When those two things happen, it’s tough when you’re the team that relaxes because what got us the lead was us getting stops on defense, pushing the ball, offensively having some aggressiveness to us. My take on it, is that we’re a team that is still fairly new, and so in late game scenarios we’re still figuring things out,” Bird stated postgame.
Seattle improved to a 3-3 record, and now 2-3 in Commissioners Cup games. Over their past two games, there have been great signs that show what this team is capable of. There is no real reason to panic, considering a few things. The first, this team is still without Mercedes Russell. Secondly, it’s early season and this team is still building chemistry. Thirdly, as long as the big three of Bird, Stewart, and Loyd is healthy, this is a contending basketball team.
The Storm’s next contest comes on Friday, May 27th against the New York Liberty. Tipoff between the 3-3 Storm and 1-4 Liberty is at 7PM PST at Climate Pledge Arena. Sabrina Ionescu and the Liberty come into this game having lost their last four.