The Seattle Storm will go on the road Saturday night for the first time in the 2023 season, seeking their first win, when they visit the Los Angeles Sparks.
Home has been anything but friendly for the Storm (0-3), who head into the game looking to reverse an early-season trend of surrendering pivotal runs by their opponent.
After a disastrous opening-game loss to the Las Vegas Aces by 41 points, Seattle has dropped its past two by single digits after falling behind due to big outbursts from its opponents: a 15-6, third-quarter spurt from the New York Liberty on Tuesday, and a 17-0 first-quarter outburst from the Dallas Wings in a May 26 loss.
"Going forward, we have to figure out how to stop teams' runs," Ezi Magbegor said following Tuesday's loss. "With our offense, just being able to break down the defense, being more aggressive with our shots, that's the way to stop runs."
In their first season following the departures of Sue Bird (retirement) and Breanna Stewart (free agency), the Storm are led by Magbegor and Jewell Loyd. Magbegor leads the team in rebounds (10.3 per game) and steals (2.3), while Loyd tops the team in points (26.0), assists (2.7) and blocks (1.7).
Stewart went for 25 points and 11 rebounds to help hand Seattle its third consecutive loss on Tuesday.
Los Angeles (2-2) won the first leg of its consecutive weekend games, outlasting the host Phoenix Mercury in overtime on Friday, 99-93.
Lexie Brown scored a career-high-tying 26 points, including both the game-tying lay-in with 12.2 seconds remaining in regulation to send the contest to overtime and a clutch 3-pointer with 1:03 to go in the extra frame to extend the Sparks' lead to four points.
Nneka Ogwumike had 21 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in the Los Angeles win, a bounce-back for the Sparks after losing consecutive games to Las Vegas.
Los Angeles also got 16 points and five assists from Jordin Canada, and 11 points from Layshia Clarendon, both of whom returned to the lineup Friday after missing the team's 93-65 loss at Las Vegas on May 27.
"The big message is 40 games is a long season," Sparks coach Curt Miller told the Los Angeles Times in regard to having to play short-handed early in the season. "Ultimately, we've just gotta keep grinding away."
--Field Level Media