It was raining threes once again in the WNBA ‘wubble’ in Bradenton, Florida on Thursday night, particularly early.
The Seattle Storm’s offense was on point from start to finish against the Minnesota Lynx in Game 2 of their semifinal best-of-five series.
In a game of runs, the Storm had the last laugh defeating Minnesota 89-79 to take a 2-0 series lead.
Since 2005 when the WNBA changed their playoff format to the best-of-five series, no team has overcome a 2-0 series deficit.
As the Storm look to capture their fourth championship in franchise history, Seattle took a 26-23 lead after the first 10 minutes of action.
Minnesota was hit hard with early foul trouble.
At the 7:22 mark of the second quarter, Lynx star player, forward, Napheesa Collier, who is also one of the best defenders in the league, picked up her third foul.
But, the Lynx then went on a 8-0 run after Collier went to the bench.
Storm guard Jewell Loyd, who was averaging over 25 points in her previous two games heading into Game 2 of the series, started to heat up in the second quarter.
Seattle ended the first half on a 14-0 run in big thanks to Loyd. She had 14 points and three assists by halftime.
At the break, Seattle extended their lead to 13.
In the first half, the Storm shot 55.2 percent from the field.
Loyd was hitting from inside and outside of the three-point line. She showed off her smooth step-back jumper and still found her teammates as well.
The 2015 WNBA Rookie of the Year has been a big reason why the Storm continue to have success against the Lynx.
The 5’10” guard finished with 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Storm coach Gary Kloppenburg explained after the win that Loyd is a go-to player for Seattle, saying, “we really try to feature her.”
Loyd said postgame that she believes that this might be the best she’s ever played “in the states, but not overseas.”
After answering the question of if she believes this is the best basketball she has ever played, Loyd explained that “her circle” has also helped her “to find peace mentally” this season.
But Loyd also gave credit to her preparation and her teammates when referencing her high level of play.
Loyd has only missed five shots total in the first two games of Seattle’s semifinals series.
The Storm had a lot of success out in transition as well. They pushed their lead to 20 points midway in the third quarter; however Minnesota wasn’t about to roll over.
Coach Kloppenburg discussed how his team had a let down in the third quarter, saying, “we had a good run there. I think earlier in the third we got going,” Kloppenburg said. “I thought we relaxed a little bit there with that lead and we just can't do that with a team like this that shoots the three that well. It's a lesson learned for us moving on."
Seattle's superstars Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart poured in their typical contributions, despite both players having an off shooting night. But it was the Storm's bench that really showed up. The second unit totaled 20 points in the victory.
Stewart finished with a complete game of 17 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, while Bird notched seven points and five assists.
It’s scary to think that Seattle was still able to pour in 89 points even with Bird and Stewart going an uncharacteristic 1-of-13 from deep.
Thursday's Game 2 showed once again just how deep this 2020 Seattle Storm team truly is and it also should have the other semifinal series matchup of the Las Vegas Aces and Connecticut Sun on notice.
The Storm and Lynx will tip-off Game 3 at noon PT Sunday on ABC.