Breanna Stewart compiled 33 points, eight rebounds and five assists as the host Seattle Storm defeated the Minnesota Lynx 89-77 on Wednesday night in a game that had playoff implications for both teams.
Jewell Loyd added 17 points and Sue Bird and Gabby Williams had 13 each as the Storm (20-12) rolled to a 12-point lead at the end of the first quarter and doubled the advantage by halftime. They maintained fourth place in the WNBA standings by virtue of a tiebreaker advantage over the Washington Mystics (20-12).
Nikolina Milic scored 13 points, Sylvia Fowles had 12 points and Lindsay Allen 11 to lead Minnesota (12-20). The Lynx finished 2-1 on their road trip and fell into 11th place, but are just 1 1/2 games out of seventh place in the tight battle for the final spots in the eight-team playoffs.
The Lynx managed 22 points in the third quarter after scoring just 18 in the first quarter and 14 in the second, but they couldn't get any closer than a 21-point deficit before the period ended with Seattle holding a 78-54 advantage.
Williams, Bird, Tina Charles and Stewart each made a 3-pointer as the Storm took a 12-0 lead over the slow-starting Lynx.
Moriah Jefferson's jumper produced Minnesota's first points nearly three minutes into the game, and Kayla McBride added a 3-pointer for the Lynx.
The visitors got as close as six points before Seattle opened a 30-18 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Loyd made a jumper and added two free throws as the Storm expanded the lead to 18 points early in the second quarter.
Minnesota scored the next four points before Loyd's 3-pointer completed a 7-0 run that gave the Storm a 47-26 lead.
Bird scored five points and Stewart added four during the final three minutes as Seattle built a commanding 56-32 halftime lead.
--Field Level Media