In Thursday’s loss against New York, Stewart recorded her third straight double-double, and in each of those three games, she tallied at least 20 points.

Share story

Even though the Seattle Storm has been unable to win back-to-back games since May, foward Breanna Stewart has created a streak.

In Thursday’s loss against New York, Stewart recorded her third straight double-double, and in each of those three games, she tallied at least 20 points.

Last Saturday in Dallas, the Storm ended both its three-game losing streak and the Wings’ four-game win streak. The Storm won 89-69 on the road and Stewart scored 30 points, a season high.

“That was the first time where you really saw Stewie just take over a game,” Sue Bird said.

The Storm has lost eight of its past 11 games, but Stewart has provided a glimmer of optimism.

“(Stewart) can hurt you in a lot of different ways when she lets the game just come to her and plays within the rhythm of the game,” Storm coach Jenny Boucek said. “She’s a real instinct player, a real rhythm player. When she can catch the rhythm of the game, she’s pretty tough to stop.”

With a quick turnaround after Thursday’s loss, Seattle will play the L.A. Sparks on Saturday at KeyArena. The last time the two teams played, the Storm lost by 10. However, in that game, Stewart was out with a knee injury.

This weekend, Stewart and the Storm will face L.A.’s Candace Parker. Stewart, who is eight years younger than Parker, remembers watching Parker play at Tennessee. While Parker is coming off a game against the Lynx in which she finished with only two points, she is averaging 16.0 points this season.

“She’s one of the best players in the game,” Stewart said. “To be able to match up against her, it’s a lot of fun. … Our games are similar in how we play.”

Stewart is sixth in the league in scoring, averaging 18.5 points per game, and fourth in the league in rebounds at 9.1 per game. Stewart has surpassed both of those averages in each of the past three games.

But she wasn’t quite up to that caliber early in the season. Recovering from a partial PCL tear, Stewart missed the opener against Los Angeles.

In her first five games back, she scored more than 15 points only once. But since then, she has had at least that many points in nine of 10 games.

After winning four national titles with the University of Connecticut, the 2016 No. 1 draft pick is in her second year in the WNBA.

Stewart said she understands the game better and is more comfortable with the level of play.

“I think probably a lot of her career she could just do whatever she wanted and it would work,” Boucek said. “Now she’s having to make more reads and decisions and counter defensive schemes in a way that’s just requiring her to be more efficient.”

Stewart certainly didn’t struggle last year.

She was the WNBA Rookie of the Year and said she thinks what she has done “speaks for itself.”

Nothing about the WNBA is new anymore. Stewart’s still young, but games like the one she had in Dallas prove she already has the ability to, at times, control a game’s outcome.

“And we need her to do that more and more,” Bird said.