The Seattle rookie will tell you every streak begins with back-to-back wins. With a career-best 38 points, she helped the Storm accomplish that first step Tuesday against Atlanta.
Breanna Stewart knows how to build streaks. The Storm rookie’s college record was 151-5 at the University of Connecticut.
Stewart will tell you every streak begins with back-to-back wins. With a career-best 38 points, she helped Seattle accomplish that first step on Tuesday with an 84-81 victory against Atlanta at KeyArena.
Coupled with Friday’s home win against Connecticut, it’s the Storm’s first back-to-back victories of the season.
“It’s huge,” Stewart said of the feat. “We’re trying to turn things around a little bit and that’s a start … I do know how to do that (build streaks).”
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Stewart muscled a layin into the hoop while fouled to regain a Seattle lead with 41.7 seconds left in the game. The bucket and ensuing free throw gave the Storm an 82-81 lead.
All-Star Sue Bird added a deadly 18-foot jumper with 8.6 seconds left to give the Storm its three-point advantage. Dream guard Meighan Simmons missed a potential tying three-point attempt at the buzzer.
Stewart finished with 38 points, shooting 12 of 16 from the field with six rebounds. Center Crystal Langhorne had 18 points, on 8-of-9 shooting and five rebounds.
The Storm (6-9) hosts Dallas on Thursday.
“They (Atlanta) put a lot of attention on our guards and that opened things up for me and Stewie,” Langhorne said. “Well, things are always open for me because people focus so much on Stewie. But she had it going anyway. She’s really showing what she can do, especially with the physicality of this league. She’s very tough.”
Atlanta outscored Seattle 25-16 in the third quarter to pull back into a game it once trailed by 12 points. All-Star Angel McCoughtry (22 points) had the emphatic play, nailing a jumper just before the horn ending the quarter sounded, shrinking the deficit to 61-60.
Dream forward Reshanda Gray gave her team its first lead since the opening quarter, 63-61, off a layin with 8:45 left in the game. Neither team led by more than four points the remainder of the game, and there were four ties in the fourth quarter.
Seattle had less mistakes after a pair of roster moves last weekend. It re-signed center Krystal Thomas on Sunday to help with rebounding. The Storm acquired 10-year veteran Noelle Quinn via trade with Phoenix on Saturday to help gain more leadership.
Both players saw minutes in Tuesday’s game and each finished with two rebounds.
“Just like when we had Lauren (Jackson) and Sue (Bird) as young players, we have to find the right veterans around them,” coach Jenny Boucek said of complementing No. 1 overall draft picks Jewell Loyd (2015) and Stewart (2016). “That’s as important as anything — veterans that take some of the burden off them.”
And perhaps now, Stewart is free to build a streak.