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Storm cold again, this time missing Breanna Stewart

The Seattle Storm shot under 40 percent from the field for the second game in a row.

Seattle Storm v Phoenix Mercury
The Mercury’s Skylar Diggins-Smith shoots with Jewell Loyd defending.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The biggest storyline of the Storm’s 97-77 loss to the Mercury Wednesday night in Phoenix was Breanna Stewart missing the game in health and safety protocol.

Jewell Loyd stepped up in Stewart’s absence with 26 points and Seattle actually led by two after one. But Phoenix won the second by 10 and the fourth by 12 to run away with the comfortable victory.

After shooting 53 percent in their season-opening win, the Storm have shot 35.5 and 38 percent in their other two games, both losses. The Mercury shot a blistering 57.1 percent on Wednesday, including 12-of-21 from three. Loyd and Sue Bird were both 4-of-7 from distance for the Storm, but the team actually shot worse from inside the arc.

Breanna Stewart’s presence could have made this one a Storm win and she was frustrated that both she and Epiphanny Prince (also in health and safety protocol) had to sit out. Their absences brought up more criticism of the WNBA’s commercial flight policy.

So far the Storm have had one great game, one subpar game and a game that you can’t read too much into because Stewart was out. They sit at 1-2 and still hope to be one of the top teams in the league this year.