Storm Dominates Liberty in Opener, 87-71
Orlando- The Seattle Storm dominated the New York Liberty in their first game in the 2020 WNBA season, 87-71.
In the first half, the Storm controlled the tempo of the game against the Liberty. They were very aggressive with pushing the ball down the floor and making it hard for the Liberty to trap Breanna Stewart in the low post. Stewart looked very fluid on both sides of the floor, as this was her first debut since 2018. She hit a couple of big shots to put the Storm in double digits, but Liberty got back into the game with a couple of steals and a couple of fast breakpoints.
However, with under nine minutes in the second quarter Kia Nurse, who is a key factor for the Liberty, went down with an injury as she twisted her ankle. The Storm took advantage of her not being in the line-up and kept attacking the inside presence of Liberty. Even though the Storm dominated the first half, turnovers kept the Liberty in the game, as Sabrina Ionescu tried to get her team back into the game with a couple of steals and assists. At the end of the first half, the Storm was up 42-35.
In the second half, the Storm kept the turnovers down and Sue Bird exploded as she hit some amazing shots down the line to extend the Storms' lead. However, the Storm had no answer for Liberty's guard Layshia Clarendon. Clarendon was on fire and had 18 points rolling into the fourth quarter. Clarendon was one of the key players that kept the Liberty at striking distance. Every time the Storm would go up double digits, New York would put together some type of run and cut the lead down to a two-possession game.
Late into the fourth quarter, Jordan Canada and some of the reserve players extended the lead into double digits, and eventually, the Storm finished the game strong. Bird finished the game with 11 points, 5 points and Stewart finished with 18 points. During a press conference, Bird did not want to speak about the game, but about finding justice for Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by law enforcement.
Sue Bird talks with the media about social injustice issues and did not want to talk about the game!