EVERETT — The Storm returned to Angel of the Winds Arena after more than a month-long hiatus, but Seattle couldn’t deliver a fourth consecutive win in its temporary Everett home.
Former WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne and Washington’s hot shooting spoiled the homecoming.
Seattle was 3-0 during its previous three games playing in Everett while the Storm’s former KeyArena home continues its makeover. After spending a month at Seattle’s Alaska Airlines Arena, the Storm returned from the All-Star break hoping to recapture its winning ways at Angel of the Winds Arena.
Delle Donne scored a game-high 29 points, and the Storm gave up a season high in points, suffering a 99-79 loss on Friday night. The game was a rematch of last year’s WNBA Finals, which Seattle swept to earn its third league title.
“You got to give Washington credit,” Storm coach Dan Hughes said. “They executed and they shot the ball well. We put ourselves in a hole, and we struggled offensively a little bit to make shots.”
The Mystics shot 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the 3-point line, and five Washington players scored in double-figures. The Storm shot a measly 13.6 percent (3-of-22) from beyond the arc.
Natasha Howard scored a team-high 26 points for Seattle (12-10), and Jordin Canada and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis each added nine.
Washington (14-6) put the Storm in an early hole, using an 18-3 run to open the game. Seattle never recovered.
The Storm shot 23.5 percent from the floor in the first quarter, but Storm guard Jewell Loyd helped Seattle claw back with a three-point play late in the first that turned into a four-point possession after a Mystics technical foul.
A 3-pointer from Sami Whitcomb trimmed Washington’s lead to 21-12, and the Mystics took a 23-12 advantage into the second quarter.
Seattle trailed by 10 most of the second quarter until the Mystics’ Ariel Atkins hit back-to-back 3s followed by a Delle Donne triple that extended Washington’s lead to 44-27 with 3:20 to play until halftime.
Howard, one of the Storm’s two All-Star selections, scored six of the Storm’s final 11 first-half points, sending Seattle into the break trailing 48-34.
The Storm struggled to make up ground after the break. Every time Seattle made a mini-run, Washington stemmed it with its hot shooting.
A Canada basket with 4:05 to go in the third quarter cut Washington’s lead to 60-51, but Delle Donne sparked a Mystics 11-2 run, scoring seven of her quarter-high 13 points, and Washington led 78-60 going into the fourth.
Seattle made a final push in the final quarter, cutting Washington’s lead to 82-70 with 5:35 to play, but a 9-2 Mystics run put the game away for good.
The Storm play one final regular-season game in Everett at 7 p.m. on Thursday against the Dallas Wings.