(Bradenton, FL) – ONE WIN AWAY. ONE. WIN. AWAY. The Seattle Storm are, you guessed it, just one win away from their 4th WNBA Championship after defeating the Las Vegas Aces 104-91 on Sunday afternoon. Seattle now takes a commanding 2-0 lead in the Best of Five series. Seattle can win its 4th title on Tuesday evening.
The Storm used a balanced attack with five players scoring in double figures and three players above 20 points in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals.
For a second consecutive game, Breanna Stewart led her team in scoring with 22 points. She also had four rebounds, five assists, and two steals. It wasn’t quite the 37 point juggernaut game like in Game 1, but it didn’t need to be either.
It didn’t need to be because both Natasha Howard and Alysha Clark were phenomenal. Clark scored a playoff career-high 21 points on very efficient shooting; she shot 67% (8-12) including going 50% (3-6) from three-point range. This was one game removed from her awful 2-13 shooting performance in Game 1. Clark also had five rebounds and six assists in the game. And she managed to outscore and limit Angel McCoughtry to under 20 points in Game 2 which was huge for Seattle.
Natasha Howard was equally as good, scoring 21 points on 90% (9-10) field goal shooting. That’s about as good as one can play. Howard was aggressive attacking the rim, getting tip-ins, and great short hooks all around the basket. Natasha also led the team with eight rebounds and had two blocks. Combined with Mercedes Russell, she also did an excellent job limiting A’ja Wilson and keeping her off the foul line.
Then there’s Sue Bird. What more can I say about the greatest point guard to ever play the game? After she set a WNBA playoff record with 16 assists in Game 1 of the Finals, the only minor complaint was that Bird scored just two points in that first game. Well, in Game 2 she was a superstar scoring 16 points and dishing out 10 assists. What an incredible job by the 17-year veteran! Do you think Seattle missed Bird in those two regular-season games against Las Vegas? Maybe just a little.
Jewell Loyd did not have a great game in Game 2, but she still scored eight points in this game and hit a couple of clutch shots. She was also poked in the eye by Angel McCoughtry on one of the first plays of the game, so that could have affected her shot a little bit. Those are some of those Detroit Piston “Bad Boys” tactics now being used by the Aces.
Jordin Canada was the 5th Seattle player to score in double figures with 10 points off the bench. Canada scored eight of those points in the 4th quarter and led the team in scoring in the final period as Seattle rebuilt a double-digit lead. Canada did an excellent job attacking the basket and knocked down a couple of jumpers as well.
Meanwhile, the Aces had four players score in double figures with A’ja Wilson leading the way with 20 points. She also had seven rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in the game.
Angel McCoughtry had 17 points and led her team in rebounding with eight.
Surprisingly, Emma Cannon had a monster game for Las Vegas with 17 points. She made some really impressive plays and might be playing for a contract next season. Cannon was not a player I was familiar with at all and it’s because Las Vegas just added her near the very end of the regular season. She gave them real good minutes off the bench in Game 2. Because of Cannon’s performance, the Aces’ bench outscored Seattle’s 30-16.
Kayla McBride made some nice plays and knocked down four three-pointers on her way to scoring 14 points. McBride has struggled a lot averaging under 9.0 PPG in the playoffs after averaging nearly 13.0 PPG in the regular season. But McBride played like an All-Star in Game 2. Seattle needs to do a better job limiting her in Game 3.
With the Storm scoring over 100 points, it’s no surprise the Storm torched the nets in this game. Seattle shot 57% (40-70 FG) and 46% (12-26) from beyond the arc. Vegas also shot the ball well, shooting 52% (39-75 FG) and 42% (8-19) from deep.
Seattle set another record in this game with excellent passing. They assisted on 33 of their 40 made baskets. The 33 assists in a new WNBA playoff record. Ironically, Las Vegas would have actually broken the record themselves in this game as they had 29 assists which is now 2nd All-Time in WNBA Finals history.
Seattle led by as many as 18 points while Vegas’ largest lead was just three points. Both teams dominated in the paint with Vegas edging Seattle 46-44.
The most shocking stat was that Las Vegas had just five free throw attempts in this game. It’s the first time this season that they shot single digits from the foul line. Seattle had a 15-5 advantage at free throws. Something that made Bill Laimbeer very unhappy.
If you want the full story, including tons of interviews by both coaches, and Storm players. Along with quarter by quarter breakdowns, and a look at the free throw attempts that Seattle got that Aces’ Coach Bill Laimbeer complained about, then please consider checking out the Complete Edition linked below!