Storm escapes a late run by the Sparks in the fourth quarter
Bradenton, FL- Breanna Stewart sets the tone early, as the Storm escapes a late Los Angles Sparks run to secure an 81-75 victory.
Breanna Stewart set the tone early for Seattle. She was very aggressive picking apart the Sparks' defense, wasn't hesitant with her shot selection, and was active with getting second-chance opportunities for her teammates. At the end of the half, Stewart had 15 points, 3 assists, and 4 rebounds. Stewart's energy had an effect on her teammates, as they played flawlessly. Alysha Clark had six assists in the first half, as the Storm started pulling away. At the end of the half, the Storm was up big, 29-45.
Sue Bird twisted her ankle on Thursday and decided not to play in this game. However, reserve point guard Jewell Loyd provided a spark that the Storm needed. Loyd ran the offense to perfection as she found the open shooters and push the pace of the game. Loyd hit a couple of threes to keep the lead in double digits. However, the Sparks went on a 12-6 run with under seven minutes to cut the lead to three. Seimone Augustus hit a couple of threes to keep the Sparks in striking distance late in the fourth quarter.
The Storm tightened their defense up with under a minute left in regulation to force the Sparks to shoot shots that were not high quality. They went on to win 81-75. Stewart finished with 21 points, 5 assists, and 9 rebounds. Loyd finished the game 17 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds.
Here is what Seattle's head coach Gary Kloppenburg had to say about Stewart.