Seattle Storm offense dominates Washington Mystics in WNBA Finals {Game} 1 win

2:49 AM ET Mechelle Close Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, girls’s school basketball, and different school sports activities...

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Seattle Storm offense dominates Washington Mystics in WNBA Finals Game 1 win

SEATTLE — After a lot drama of their current outings, perhaps it was inevitable that the WNBA Finals opener between Seattle and Washington did not maintain the identical feeling. The Storm did not permit it.

The sport was a dream for Seattle and a dud for Washington, an 89-76 Storm victory that the followers at KeyArena completely loved as a result of it did not give them coronary heart palpitations, like each {Game} 5s of the WNBA semifinals. The truth is, in the event you have been a Storm fan, this sport was downright enjoyable.

Seattle led 48-32 at halftime, and by the third quarter, the Mystics appeared as in the event that they have been already within the psychological house of making an attempt to prepare for Sunday’s {Game} 2.

“Whenever you’re in it, you by no means really feel such as you’re protected,” Seattle’s Sue Chook mentioned. “We have been always on excessive alert. However … we have been capable of trigger some turnovers, to get some transition going — which is what we like to do — and that set the tone.

“As soon as we get going, like several workforce, you begin to really feel snug, the basket will get larger, you get a bit of extra aggressive. And that is form of what occurred.”

The rim appeared enormous for guard Jewell Loyd, who struggled a bit through the semifinals, and middle Natasha Howard. And so they took benefit of that, going a mixed 17 of 21 from the sector. Loyd led Seattle in scoring with 23 factors. Pretty much as good because the Mystics’ protection might be — though we did not see it Friday — it is nonetheless a little bit of a aid for Loyd that she’s not nonetheless going through a defender as pesky as Phoenix’s Briann January.

“I would like to have the ability to shoot and simply have short-term reminiscence,” Loyd mentioned. “Nevertheless it helps whenever you’re enjoying with people who find themselves unselfish, that set you up and maintain supplying you with the ball. And that is what makes this workforce particular. Everyone seems to be prepared to make the additional cross.”

Howard had 19 factors, and MVP Breanna Stewart had 22.

“It felt good that we have been accountable for the sport the entire time,” Howard mentioned.

Seattle positively appeared the a part of the No. 1 seed. However No. three Washington appeared weary — the Mystics additionally have been on the highway in {Game} 5 of their semifinal collection with Atlanta — and missing solutions.

The nice factor is, it is just one sport in what might nonetheless be a compelling collection. Or perhaps it set the tone for Seattle getting an higher hand that it will not let go.

The Mystics haven’t had such a poor sport since earlier than the All-Star {Game} on July 28. Coach Mike Thibault unloaded his bench Friday looking for some form of spark. However none was discovered. Rookie Ariel Atkins had 23 factors and was actually the one brilliant spot for the Mystics.

“I do not know if it was getting caught up within the second, {Game} 1 nerves, or no matter,” Mystics middle LaToya Sanders mentioned. “As unhealthy as we performed, and in addition to Seattle performed, it nonetheless solely counts as one loss. When one or two individuals are sizzling and enjoying properly, individuals feed off that. They obtained a bit of little bit of momentum, and their crowd was in it from the start. After which everyone who got here in for them contributed.”

The Storm led by as a lot as 27 within the third quarter. If this wasn’t their finest offensive sport on show, it was — on the very least — indicative of how potent a workforce Seattle is when issues are working. Which has been the case most of this season.

“Whenever you discuss from an id standpoint, tonight we performed to our id,” mentioned Chook, who had seven assists however did not want the massive scoring effort she had Tuesday in opposition to Phoenix. “That is how we wish to play, that is the place we thrive.

“We simply have a really cellular, athletic workforce that may present itself defensively after which how we circulate from our protection to our offense. We attempt to play at a tempo that, hopefully, wears groups down.”

Because it appeared as if the Mystics have been already a bit of worn, it made the Storm seem like all of the extra a steamroller. It was primarily precisely the form of sport the Storm have been hoping for.

The Mystics, in contrast should persuade themselves that what we noticed Friday was their worst.

“We’ve to get again to who we’re,” Mystics guard Kristi Toliver mentioned. “We’re higher defensively. We simply by no means obtained ourselves collectively [Friday]. Watching movie will assist; we now have to review it and decide to being higher.

“We’ll discover a method, as a result of we now have the proper items. It is a matter of getting ourselves in higher place and determining what we are able to counter.”


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