Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Storm escape 21-point hole, rally past Sparks

Field Level Media
07 Jun 2023, 14:40 GMT+10

Jewell Loyd scored all of her 25 points during the final three quarters and the Seattle Storm recovered from a 21-point deficit to record a 66-63 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night.

Loyd's heroics helped Seattle (1-4) avoid a dubious mark for franchise futility. The club matched the worst start in franchise history, set by the expansion 2000 team.

Loyd collected eight rebounds while becoming the third player in Storm history to score at least 4,000 points. She shot just 5 of 18 from the field but made 13 of 14 free-throw attempts to finish the game with 4,008 career points.

Rookie Jordan Horston added 14 points, seven rebounds and four steals off the bench for Seattle, and Ezi Magbegor contributed 13 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Nneka Ogwumike had 22 points and 11 rebounds for her third straight double-double for Los Angeles (3-3). Lexie Brown added 15 points and Jordin Canada had 11 for the Sparks, who committed 23 turnovers.

Ogwumike's layup pulled the Sparks within 66-63 with 1:29 remaining before Los Angeles missed its final two shots while losing the back end of a home-and-home set between the teams. The Sparks won 92-85 on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Loyd reached 4,000 career points by sinking two free throws with 4:18 left in the third quarter to give her 17 on the night. She joins Sue Bird (6,803) and Lauren Jackson (6,007) as the only Seattle players to reach the milestone.

The two free throws also gave the Storm their first lead of the game at 42-40.

Los Angeles missed its first nine field-goal attempts in the third period until Ogwumike scored with 1:56 left to knot the score at 46.

Loyd later drained a 3-pointer with 29.1 seconds left as Seattle took a 52-48 advantage into the final stanza.

Seattle shot 32.4 percent from the field for the night, including 4 of 20 from 3-point range.

The Sparks made 39.3 percent of their shots and were 5 of 15 from behind the arc.

Los Angeles led by as many as 20 points in the opening quarter. The Sparks rolled off 16 straight points to take a 19-2 lead on Azura Stevens' basket with 3:34 left in the period. It was 24-6 at the end of the quarter before Canada opened the second with a trey for the 21-point edge.

The Storm finished the second quarter with a 21-6 spurt. Loyd started the burst by making three free throws and finished the half by sinking another three foul shots in the last second as Seattle pulled within 38-35.

--Field Level Media

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