The WNBA Seattle Storm saw their undefeated home streak end 77-100 at the hands of the Minnesota Lynx on Saturday, June 3 at the KeyArena in Seattle.
Seattle was 4-0 in the 2017 season, but Minnesota came in fast and furious as their talented squad kept the pressure on and the baskets coming in bushels.
“Obviously what makes [the Lynx] so great is not just the four Olympians, which makes them great, it’s the fact that they bring in one talented player after another off the bench,” said Storm guard Sue Bird. “You have players now who are going there to try to win championships. In a lot of ways they were the Golden State Warriors before the Golden State Warriors…they come in waves at you.”
To understand how dominate the Lynx started the game you just have to look at the halftime stats.
At the half, Minnesota was ahead 64-39. For many teams this is a total game score, but for this game it was just the Lynx’s overwhelming offense.
Minnesota center Sylvia Fowles had 26 points at halftime with seven rebounds. Guard Lindsay Whalen had 11 points and the Lynx were shooting 61.9 percent to the Storm’s 42.4 and Minnesota pulled down 22 rebounds to the Seattle’s seven.
The Storm was led at the half by center Crystal Langhorne who poured in 14, but besides forward Breanna Stewart’s nine points the other players who had points were at four or less.
The second half found Minnesota continuing their scoring ways, but also a stronger showing by the Storm. Seattle kept Fowles from doing further damage and held Minnesota to 36 points in the second half while the Storm scored 38.
The Lynx who had outscored Seattle by 11 points in the first quarter and 14 in the second saw the Storm keep it even in the third quarter with both teams scoring 22 points and Seattle outscoring Minnesota in the fourth 16-14. Despite the more competitive second half and the fans staying loud and supportive, the lead the Lynx had built couldn’t be erased and the Storm suffered their first home loss.
“They came out at a very high level. I haven’t seen them play like that this year,” said Seattle head coach Jenny Boucek. “They came out determined to show they’re number one for a reason. And we came out flat. It’s like getting punched in the face and getting the wind knocked out of you.”
Storm guard Alysha Clark and Langhorne lead the team with 16 points. Stewart added 14 with six rebounds while guard Jewell Loyd added 10 and guard Sue Bird put in eight with nine assists.
Minnesota was led by Fowles 26 with Whalen ending with 19 points. Forward Rebekkah Brunson added 21 and guard Seimone Augustus added 13 and seven rebounds.
The Lynx ended with a team shooting percentage of 59.4 with Seattle finishing with 46.0 percent shooting.
“We made shots…,” said Minnesota head coach Cheryl Reeve. “We were embracing the challenge of begin here and playing against a really good Seattle team that was going to pose us many challenges…We had stretches where Seattle played harder than us and made their runs but I thought each time we answered it without things getting too out of hand with them cutting into our lead.”
The Storm head on a three-game road trip starting in Texas where they will face-off with the San Antonio Stars and former Washington Huskies star and 2017 number one draft pick Kelsey Plum at 5:00 p.m. (PT) on Tuesday, June 6 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.