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Storm withstand late Sky rally for victory

Oct 10, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; A view of the offical game ball during the second half of game one of the 2021 WNBA Finals between the Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ezi Magbegor scored a game-high 21 points as the host Seattle Storm held off the Chicago Sky 74-71 on Wednesday night.

Chicago’s Allie Quigley missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would’ve sent the game to overtime. The Sky scored the game’s final nine points to give them a shot.

For Seattle, two-time WNBA Most Valuable Player Breanna Stewart and reserve guard Epiphanny Prince both returned from a two-game COVID-protocols absence. Stewart scored 13 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished two assists. She also had a game-high four steals.

Prince had six points.

Seattle (2-3), which snapped its three-game losing streak, also got six points and a team-high seven assists from Sue Bird. Jewell Loyd added five points and five assists.

However, Loyd shot just 2-of-10 from the floor, missing all four of her three-point tries. Bird shot 2-of-9 from the floor, including 2-of-6 on 3-pointers.

Magbegor, who scored mostly in the post and on fast-break layups, made 9-of-13 shots from the floor.

The Sky (2-2), the reigning league champions, were led by Azura Stevens, who scored 18 points. Courtney Vandersloot had a double-double with a game-high 12 assists and 11 points.

Emma Meesseman and Candace Parker each added 11 points for the Sky, and Quigley had eight points.

Chicago, which had its two-game winning streak broken, was without reigning league-Finals MVP Kahleah Copper, who has just finished her overseas season in Spain.

Seattle led 23-22 after the first quarter. There were three tie scores and two lead changes in that tightly contested period.

The Storm pulled away with a strong second quarter, leading 46-34 at halftime. Seattle never trailed in the second quarter, closing the period on an 11-1 run.

For the first half, Seattle shot a sizzling 51.4 percent from the floor, including 4-for-11 on 3-pointers (36.4 percent).

Magbegor led all first-half scorers with 13 points. Stevens had 11 points for Chicago.

Chicago won the third quarter – but barely. Seattle led 58-49 heading into the fourth.

Seattle led 74-62 with 2:28 left in the game. Parker scored seven points in the final 89 seconds in her attempt to rally the Sky.

–Field Level Media