Breanna Stewart always takes care of business on the court, which is why her performance in Seattle last night against the Wings was a true Saturday night special.
Before a soldout KeyArena crowd of screaming Storm Crazies, Stewie dropped 35 points, grabbed 10 rebounds (5 offensive boards and 5 defensive boards, for balance) and blocked 1 shot.
Sue Bird missed some court time in the first half due to illness, but that gave Jordin Canada more minutes and some time to shine. Coming off the bench and stepping up in Bird’s absence, Canada scored 8 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, dished 2 assists and got away with 2 steals.
After the game, Canada praised Stewie for making any point guard’s life easy.
“Whenever I pass to Stewie I know it’s an automatic assist,” said Canada.
On Canada stepping up big on a night when Bird spent some time in the locker room getting treatment for her illness, Stewie said, “At this point in the season, she’s not a rookie anymore.”
Bird finished the game with 5 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 steals and an uncharacteristic 6 turnovers. But she balanced things out by scoring three of those points from deep when her team needed a bucket the most.
The other difference-makers for Seattle, on a night when Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis was out with a concussion, were:
- Natasha Howard. Arguably the current leading candidate for Most Improved Player filled up the stat sheet by scoring 17 points, grabbing 5 rebounds, dishing 2 assists, picking 1 pocket and blocking 1 shot.
- Jewell Loyd. Still struggling to find a consistent stroke from downtown, Loyd made a difference in other areas, filling up the stat sheet with 13 points, 8 rebounds, a team-high 6 assists, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot.
Final score: Seattle Storm (91) vs. Dallas Wings (84)
Why Dallas was defeated
#1: Breanna Stewart can, does and will score from anywhere on the court.
Theories are swirling that her cool pink kicks give her some special powers but these reports have not been confirmed.
#2: The Storm battered the Wings with crushing defense.
#3: Seattle silenced Liz Cambage on the the boards.
Cambage has averaged a double-double for most of the season. But speed beat size in the battle of the paint in which the Aussie was limited to 4 total rebounds. For context, against Seattle earlier this season, Cambage grabbed 9 rebounds on June 24 and 7 boards on June 2.
Other Dallas players with big games were:
- Skylar Diggins-Smith. The hardest working woman in basketball tallied 21 points, 7 assists, 5 steals, 3 rebounds and 1 block on the night ... without turning the ball over. This is scary good ... ridiculousness that can barely be fathomed ... like, a thousand emoji eyes.
- Kayla Thornton. Not keen to leave too many zeroes in her stat line, she contributed to her Wings team with 18 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Maybe the word “thorn” in her surname has something to do with this prickly greatness?
- KeyArena was rocking, thanks to a soldout crowd — the second in a row for Seattle this season!
- A hard foul from Cambage’s elbow on Natasha Howard was not ruled flagrant. But the fines are piling up for Cambage, which she recently lamented on Twitter.
- Two technical fouls were handed out in the game, including one on Cambage for celebrating after a bucket. Courtney Williams of the Connecticut Sun had some thoughts on the matter, right along with fans who just want to see the players play in high-energy games, who thrive off of passion just as the players do, who don’t like to see whistles decide games.
- Seattle Storm on Twitter is the best Twitter.