Jewell Loyd has been on fire since returning from Tokyo.
She scored 16 points in the Commissioner’s Cup championship game and then, when the regular season resumed this past Sunday, she tossed in 26 points in 40 minutes of play in an overtime game. She followed that up with 35 points on Wednesday and 29 points on Friday as her Seattle Storm defeated the New York Liberty 99-83 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn in the latter contest.
Loyd’s efforts in the first two regular-season games post-Olympic break were overshadowed by gut-wrenching losses. Her fellow U.S. Olympians Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird sat out of both contests to rest.
On Friday night, Stewart notched 19 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and two blocks and Bird added 10 points and six helpers to help get Seattle back in the win column. Loyd’s scoring total was aided by a 7-of-9 effort from beyond the arc that marked her career high in made triples.
The Storm improved to 17-7 and moved a half a game behind the idle Connecticut Sun and Las Vegas Aces.
Seattle lost a thriller to the Liberty on Wednesday and trailed 30-23 after one on Friday. But it cut it to one at the break and then won the third 30-16. Ezi Magbegor and Jordin Canada also scored 10 points for the winners.
The Liberty remained in seventh place and in playoff position, but fell to 11-13. Sami Whitcomb was outstanding with 26 points and eight assists in defeat. Teammate Natasha Howard added 11 points, 13 boards and three blocks.
The game was a 3-point shooting clinic with the Storm going 14-of-26 (53.8 percent) and the Liberty going 12-of-30 (40 percent).
Indiana Fever (5-18) over Dallas Wings (10-14), 83-81
Danielle Robinson (18 points, five assists) converted on the game-winning 3-point play with seven seconds to go. She took Marina Mabrey 1-on-1 and made a righty layup through contact. Arike Ogunbowale then missed a deep two with 1.2 ticks remaining.
Seven players played for the Fever and six reached double figures.
Indiana trailed by as many as 12 points, by eight with 3:46 to play and by seven with 2:53 to play before closing the contest on a 9-0 run. Emma Cannon (16 points) made a layup to cut it five, and later back-to-back Robinson layups cut it to one with 1:06 to go. Robinson scored the final seven points for the Fever.
Kelsey Mitchell added 14 points and four assists to the winning cause while Lindsay Allen had 13 and five. Victoria Vivians (three steals) and Teaira McCowan (two steals) both notched 11 points and six rebounds.
Isabelle Harrison posted 22 points, seven boards and three blocks in defeat while Mabrey and Ogunbowale finished with 18 and 14 points, respectively. Ogunbowale also dished out six assists.