Jewell Loyd scored 18 of her 31 points in the first half as the Seattle Storm avoided being swept in the season series by the Minnesota Lynx with Sunday’s 88-74 victory at Minneapolis.
Loyd, who entered averaging a league-leading 23.8 points, was held to 15 during Seattle’s 78-70 home loss to the Lynx (15-17) on Friday. However, she scored 14 points in the second quarter Sunday and finished 10-of-25 overall and 5-of-10 from 3-point range as the Storm (10-22) won for the first time in four meetings against Minnesota this season.
Kayla McBride had 18 points and Napheesa Collier added 14, but only two in the second half, with nine rebounds for Minnesota, which shot just 35.3 percent from the field.
Seattle led 47-40 at halftime, then scored the first six points of the third quarter. The Storm went on to score 10 of the first 12 in the period, with eight coming via Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu, for a 57-42 advantage.
However, Seattle failed to score on 11 straight possessions and Minnesota registered eight points during that stretch to get within 57-50 with 1:51 remaining in the third. But Mercedes Russell’s basket ended the Storm’s drought, Loyd hit two free throws and Kia Nurse knocked down a 3 to put them ahead 64-50, and eventually lead by 12 entering the fourth quarter.
Loyd added 11 more points in the fourth for the Storm, who went 10-of-26 from beyond the arc.
Nurse’s 3 in the final seconds of the first quarter gave Seattle a 21-15 edge after one. The Storm scored the first four points of the second quarter to lead by 10. However, five straight points from McBride highlighted a 7-0 Minnesota run to make it a two-point game, and the Lynx eventually led 34-33 thanks to five straight made free throws.
Then Loyd took over.
She hit a pair of 3s during an 8-0 Storm surge that put them up five. Loyd hit another 3 with 31 seconds remaining in the half to put Seattle up by seven at the break.
Mendjiadeu finished with 15 rebounds while teammate Ezi Magbegor scored 12.
—Field Level Media
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