weather icon Partly Cloudy

Storm takes 2-0 series lead over Mystics in WNBA Finals

SEATTLE — Breanna Stewart scored nine of her 25 points in the fourth quarter, and the Seattle Storm held off the Washington Mystics 75-73 on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the WNBA Finals.

Seattle will head to Washington for Game 3 on Wednesday night needing only a split back east to claim the third title in franchise history.

Stewart went nearly 18 minutes of game time without scoring, but was responsible for six of Seattle’s final seven points as the Storm held off Washington’s late rally. Seattle led 70-65 after Stewart’s hook in the lane with 4:25 left, and was the Storm’s last field goal. Washington’s Kristi Toliver made two difficult jumpers in the final 90 seconds to keep Washington within one, but the Mystics were unable to get a shot up on their next possession trailing 74-73, when Toliver lost the ball going baseline and a mad scramble led to a jump ball Seattle won.

The ensuing jump ball between Natasha Howard and Tianna Hawkins ended up in the hands of Jewell Loyd. Seattle was able to run seven seconds off the clock before Alysha Clark was fouled and her free throw gave Seattle a two-point lead. Washington was out of timeouts and couldn’t advance the ball into the front court. Atkins’ desperation half-court shot at the buzzer was well off.

Elena Delle Donne led the Mystics with 17 points but was scoreless in the fourth quarter, taking just one shot.

Toliver and Ariel Atkins both added 15 points for Washington. But the Mystics missed all 16 3-point attempts.

Loyd finished with 13 points.

Stewart went nearly 18 minutes of game time without scoring. She split free throws with 3:21 left in the first quarter then didn’t score again until a pair of free throws with 5:36 left in the third quarter. She went even longer without a made basket, finally snapping a 22-minute stretch without a field goal hitting a 17-footer with 1:49 left in the quarter.

Despite Stewart finally getting back on the score sheet, Delle Donne and the Mystics continued to have answers. Her three-point play late in the third pushed Washington’s lead to five and the Mystics took a 61-58 lead to the fourth. That was the final points of the game for Delle Donne, while Stewart was continually fed by her teammates in the fourth.

Tip ins

Seattle has won seven straight Finals games dating to 2004. They have never lost a Finals game at home. … It was the first time this season Washington failed to make a 3-pointer. … Bird had 8 points on 3 of 12 shooting.

Up next

Game 3 is Wednesday night in Washington.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Las Vegas Aces ready to adjust without injured star A’ja Wilson

Laimbeer said Sunday after a 79-74 win over the Minnesota Lynx that they’ll likely predicate their offense more around ball movement without Wilson, who averages 15.8 points on 12.3 shots, 6.7 rebounds and commands considerable defensive attention as one of the WNBA’s most dominant post players.

Las Vegas Aces, without Wilson, hold off Minnesota Lynx

Liz Cambage had 22 points and 13 rebounds Sunday afternoon and Kayla McBride scored 20 to propel the Aces — sans injured All-Star A’ja Wilson — to a 79-74 win over the Minnesota Lynx at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Aces eye first victory over Washington Mystics

Las Vegas, at 10-5, has the best record in the WNBA, but was annihilated by Washington in their first meeting June 20, and was in the midst of getting annihilated last Friday before an earthquake forced a postponement.