When the Seattle Storm took on the Phoenix Mercury for the second time this season Jewell Loyd was the difference.
In the season opener, also against the Phoenix Mercury Jewell Loyd was held to ten points. This went a long way to the Storm losing this game. In the return match, the Storm shooting guard stepped it up, scoring a game high 29 points which led to the Storm taking the match over the Mercury.
Loyd was at her aggressive best, penetrating at will and getting to the foul line with regularity. Loyd was electric on a night both Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird were down.
Alysha Clark was at the level the Storm need her to play at as well, feeding off Loyd and her aggression. Clark would score 16 points, providing a great second option. Stewart was down on her shooting but still was a beast on the boards, collecting a game high 11 on the night.
However, tonight was about Loyd. She was matched up against one of the greatest of all time in Diana Taurasi. The Mercury legend was able to score 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-8 from deep.
Loyd was difficult to stop, she is a threat from deep as well as a sensational mid range shooter. Briann January had her hands full guarding Bird leaving Taurasi to guard Loyd. At the age of 35, this is not an easy task and the Storm took full advantage of it.
However, Loyd needs to have the support of her team and the starting five did a tremendous job of that. The Storm look a better team than last year, hopefully they can carry this momentum on deeper into the season.