Jewell Loyd scored 20 points and sparked a first-half burst as the Seattle Storm defeated the Minnesota Lynx 89-79 in Game 2 of the semifinal series Thursday night at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The Storm ended the first half on a 14-0 run, keyed by a pair of 3-point baskets and two jumpers from Loyd, as it took a 46-33 lead to the break.
The second-seeded Storm hold a 2-0 lead in the series. Game 3 of the best-of-5 series is set for Sunday afternoon.
Breanna Stewart posted 17 points despite shooting 0-for-7 on 3-point attempts, while Seattle teammates Alysha Clark and Natasha Howard had 13 and 11 points, respectively. Stewart also supplied team highs of eight rebounds and seven assists.
Damiris Dantas poured in 23 points and Odyssey Sims racked up 18 points for the Lynx, which made 13 shots from 3-point range. Napheesa Collier added 12 points, and Crystal Dangerfield had 10 points with seven assists.
Seattle's lead ballooned to 21 points in the third quarter before the Lynx surged to close within 68-62 going into the fourth quarter. Misses on three of four free throws late in the quarter prevented Minnesota from making the margin closer.
Loyd hit another 3 and the Storm built their edge to 78-64 barely three minutes into the fourth quarter, with Sami Whitcomb tallying the final five points of that spurt.
The Storm was 17-for-18 on free throws (making their first 16). Loyd had four of the team's 10 buckets on 3-pointers.
It was a vastly different type of finish than two nights earlier in Game 1, when the Storm prevailed 88-86 on Clark's shot off a rebound at the buzzer.
There was a frantic pace in the first half, with the Storm taking advantage of transition opportunities. Dantas drained three 3-pointers in the first quarter to provide Minnesota a boost on offense.
The fourth-seeded Lynx were hurt when Collier, a center, picked up her third foul less than three minutes into the second quarter. Minnesota already was without injured center Sylvia Fowles, who has yet to play in the series.
--Field Level Media