Jewell Loyd set a WNBA All-Star Game record with 31 points and a WNBA record for any game with 10 combined threes and fours in what was an MVP performance, and her team, Team Stewart, defeated Team Wilson 143-127 Saturday night at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.
Loyd (10-of-21 from distance) was double-teamed by Team Wilson on a late possession when she was two shy of the previous ASG scoring record (30 set by Maya Moore and Kelsey Plum). Plum and three of her Aces teammates were on Team Wilson Saturday night and did not want Loyd to take away the record.
Loyd missed a three while double-teamed, but Brittney Griner, who started in the All-Star Game less than a year after returning from her wrongful detainment in Russia, grabbed the rebound and got it back out to Loyd for a right-wing three that broke the record.
Loyd added six assists and four rebounds to her stat line while 3-point Contest champion Sabrina Ionescu added 18 points, eight helpers and six boards for Team Stewart and Griner was good for 18 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks.
Captain Breanna Stewart helped her team’s cause with nine points, nine assists and six rebounds. Teammate Nneka Ogwumike posted six points, 11 boards and five helpers and teammate Napheesa Collier registered 20 points.
Plum (6-of-10 from three/four) matched the 30 points she scored in her 2022 All-Star Game MVP performance while teammate Arike Ogwunbowale notched 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. A’ja Wilson had 20 points and five boards in defeat.
Griner managed to toss a pretty emphatic block of Plum into the highlights of the evening, but Plum followed that with three triples over the span of 1:10. The last of those cut Wilson’s deficit to 136-117 with 2:39 remaining.
Collier scored eight points in the first 3:17 of the fourth, including a 4-pointer. Team Wilson cut it to 16 twice in the frame before that and again on a Wilson three at the 6:25 mark of the frame.
In the third, Satou Sabally had a nice 5-0 run that made it 91-76 Stewart, and later Kahleah Copper went on a 7-2 run that made it 110-90 Stewart. Cheyenne Parker then closed the third with a three for Wilson that cut it to 17.
Loyd made three triples in the first 3:47 of the second half, with the last of those being a right-corner fadeaway that made it 86-72 Stewart. Earlier in the third, Griner recorded her third dunk of the night and Wilson made a mid-range fadeaway while being interviewed live by broadcasters Rebecca Lobo and Ryan Ruocco.
With 5.1 seconds remaining in the first half, Ogwumike grabbed a rebound over Ogunbowale and held the ball up over Ogunbowale for extended seconds, provoking a playful foul from Ogunbowale, which was really more of a hug.
Team Wilson cut its deficit to 64-61 on an Ogunbowale fadeaway three, but Loyd answered with back-to-back treys. A little later Stewart made her first basket of the game, a straightaway three, to close the first half’s scoring and make it 73-63 in her team’s favor.
Allisha Gray made a contested four that cut Wilson’s deficit to 59-51, but Loyd answered with a three and picked up a steal on the ensuing possession, which led to an Ogwumike layup in transition.
Fours from Collier, Plum and Ionescu comprised three straight baskets that took the score to 48-39 Stewart. Ionescu’s four was her second of the contest. She made her third a bit later to make it 54-41. Rhyne Howard answered that with her second four. In between her second and third fours, Ionescu added a pretty no-look pass to Collier for a layup.
Howard kicked off the barrage of second-quarter fours to give Wilson a 33-29 lead and then Ionescu, who had missed a couple fours, made a left-wing three followed by a four to make it 36-33 Stewart. A Collier steal on the ensuing possession led to a Copper layup in transition that extended Stewart’s run to 9-0 and made it 38-33. It wound up being an 11-0 run after a Collier layup.
Down 27-18, Team Wilson went on a 7-0 run to cut it to two. Plum made a layup in transition, which was followed by an Alyssa Thomas layup and a Parker three. After that, Ionescu saw a 4-point attempt rattle in and out.
Griner was the star early, opening the game on a 6-2 individual run that she capped with a dunk. She later made a layup that made it 19-14 Stewart and added another, more emphatic dunk to make it 23-16.
Right before that dunk, she attempted a 4-point shot that unfortunately missed. She made an effort to try and knock down a three or four, going 0-of-4 on those shots combined.
Griner slapped the floor while guarding Chelsea Gray in the first — that’s how pumped up she was. C. Gray later did the same while guarding Griner.
Aliyah Boston, who made big news as a rookie starter, scored the game’s first points. Loyd made the game’s first 4-pointer to make it 10-4 Stewart.
Howard was replacing the injured Elena Delle Donne (ankle sprain).