Storm beat Wings, clinch top-2 seed in WNBA playoffs

Seattle wins 107-95, but Sue Bird leaves early after injuring her knee in a collision.

Associated Press

BRADENTON, Fla. — Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart scored 23 points apiece and the Seattle Storm used an 11-0 run to pull away for good in their 107-95 win over the Dallas Wings on Wednesday night.

Stewart added 11 rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks to help the Storm wrap up one of the top two seeds in the playoffs and earn a double-bye to the semifinals. Natasha Howard had 16 points and eight rebounds, Alysha Clark scored 14 points and Sue Bird added 10 points and nine assists for the Storm before she left the game after banging knees with Satou Sabally midway through the fourth quarter.

Seattle (17-3) has won six games in a row and leads Las Vegas by 1 1/2 games for the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, which begin Sept. 15. The Aces play the third-place Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday before closing the regular season against Seattle on Sunday.

Stewart made two free throws to break a 74-all tie, Sami Whitcomb hit a 3-pointer and Stewart made a layup to close the third quarter before Jordin Canada and Stewart made back-to-back layups to open the fourth and make it 85-74 with 8:22 to play. Marina Mabrey hit a 3-pointer to pull the Wings within six about two minutes later but they would get no closer.

Sabally led Dallas (7-13) with 25 points before she left the game. Allisha Gray scored 17 points and Arike Ogunbowale, who leads the league in scoring at 21.9 points per game, added 15 on 4-of-15 shooting. She didn’t score in the second half.

Dallas leads Washington by a half-game and Atlanta by a game for the eighth and final playoff spot. Dallas plays Chicago on Friday before closing its regular season against New York on Sunday. Washington finishes with three games in four days, playing Thursday against Los Angeles, Saturday against New York and finally Atlanta on Sunday. The Dream faces Connecticut Friday before their regular season finale against the Mystics.

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