Breanna Stewart scored 22 points, grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds and blocked a career-high five shots in Seattle’s 75-57 victory over the Stars, spoiling former UW star Kelsey Plum’s homecoming.
Kelsey Plum darted to her left and found a sliver of sunlight against a surprisingly suffocating Storm defense before launching a midrange runner near the baseline.
However, Breanna Stewart, a 6-foot-4 forward with a 7-1 wingspan, closed in fast and swatted Plum’s attempt in the opposite direction while the San Antonio rookie went sprawling to the floor.
The block sparked a fast break that ended with Sue Bird canning a jumper as the Storm ran away with a 75-57 victory that snapped its three-game losing streak and kept the Stars winless.
“That was kind of the nail in the coffin right there,” said Stewart, who finished with a game-high 22 points, a season-high 15 rebounds and a career-best five blocks.
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Crystal Langhorne finished with 10 points for the Storm, which improved to 6-5.
The Stars’ point total and 28.8 percent shooting were season lows. Those numbers were the best of the season defensively for the Storm.
The Stewart-Plum exchange midway through the fourth quarter capsulized Sunday’s game between the two most recent No. 1 overall WNBA draft picks.
Stewart, the top choice in 2016, made the game’s biggest plays on both ends of the floor.
When the Stars narrowed their deficit to 37-31 early in the third quarter, Stewart drained consecutive three-pointers and a long jumper during a personal 8-2 run that negated the threat and put Seattle up 45-33.
San Antonio never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.
And Stewart snuffed out any chance the Stars had of a comeback when she rejected Plum’s shot and Bird’s jumper gave Seattle a 63-44 lead with 6:21 left. Stewart connected on 8 of 13 shots, including 3 of 6 on three-pointers.