Seattle – A West Coast back-to-back turned out to be every bit as daunting as it looked on paper for the Lynx.
After a 22-point loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday night, the Lynx traveled north to play the league’s top team, the Seattle Storm, and lost 85-75 on Friday night before an announced sellout crowd of 12,064 at KeyArena.
The Lynx (15-12) committed 18 turnovers — they had 16 against the Sparks — and were outscored 22-2 in fast-break points. Seattle (21-7), the top three-point shooting team in the WNBA, was 12-for-24 from beyond the arc.
Maya Moore continued her post-All-Star Game funk, following up an eight-point night against the Sparks with a seven-point effort against the Storm on 2-for-9 shooting. Moore had 32 points against Seattle in the team’s first meeting of the season at Target Center.
Rebekkah Brunson, the league’s all-time leading rebounder, was shut out on the boards.
With the victory, the Storm became the first team to clinch a spot in the WNBA playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Lynx dropped into the seventh position in the league standings and now must get ready for their third game in four days against the second-place Atlanta Dream on Sunday at Target Center.
Sylvia Fowles, the only consistent offensive threat for the Lynx, had 20 points and 16 rebounds for her league-leading 16th double-double of the season.
Seattle’s All-Star trio of Breanna Stewart (20 points, seven rebounds), Sue Bird (14 points, 11 assists) and Jewell Loyd (14 points) were clicking on all cylinders, especially in the second half.
The Lynx led 48-39 in the third quarter when Stewart scored three straight baskets to make it 48-45. The Storm continued to attack, getting three-pointers by Loyd, Bird and Stewart, and led 61-57 going into the fourth quarter.
Loyd scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to finish off a 27-9 Storm run.
Former Lynx player Natasha Howard had 15 points, six rebounds and five steals for Seattle. The 37-year-old Bird was 4-for-5 from three-point range.
Lindsay Whalen had 12 points and a season-high eight rebounds for the Lynx.
The Lynx led 22-16 after the first quarter and 38-37 at halftime.