Even without two of the WNBA's biggest stars, the Seattle Storm are plugging along and nearing a berth in the postseason.
Looking for a second straight victory, the Storm try to continue their recent dominance over the visiting Indiana Fever on Sunday.
This week, reigning WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart was seen in videos posted on the league's official website shooting baskets while recovering from her Achilles' injury. Meanwhile, The Seattle Times reported that superstar Sue Bird is unlikely to play this season because of a knee issue.
Though Seattle coach Dan Hughes would certainly love to have two of the league's best players in uniform again, his focus remains on the team in its current form.
"Right now, I need to think about the players I got," Hughes told The Seattle Times.
While it has not been easy at times for the reigning WNBA champions in 2019, the Storm (15-13) are closing in on a playoff berth. On Sunday, they'll also look to build on last Sunday's 82-74 victory over Minnesota that ended a two-game losing rut. Jordin Canada, starting at the point guard spot in place of Bird, had 14 points to lead six Seattle players in double figures.
Howard (18.7 points per game) has totaled 43 points and Loyd (12.3 ppg) 39 while Seattle's won the first two meetings with Indiana this season by a combined six points.
The Fever (9-19), who have dropped five straight to the Storm since last beating them during the 2017 season, find themselves close to being eliminated from playoff contention. Indiana dropped its third consecutive contest, 98-65 to the Los Angeles Sparks, on Thursday. Kelsey Mitchell scored a team-high 14 points for Indiana, which totaled just 24 over the second and third quarters.
Mitchell averages a team-leading 12.5 points, and got back on track after she totaled 15 in the previous two contests. She's scored a combined 34 points in the two meetings with Seattle in 2019.