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Stewart shines, but the Storm falter against the Sparks.

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Despite a great WNBA debut by Breanna Stewart, the Storm were severely outplayed as they fell to Los Angeles 66 to 96.

Stewart shines bright in WNBA debut
Stewart shines bright in WNBA debut

All eyes were on the number one overall pick out of Connecticut, as the Los Angeles Sparks hosted Breanna Stewart and the Seattle Storm in the first game of the WNBA season for both teams.  And the rookie shined bright in her WNBA debut.  Breanna Stewart led the Storm in scoring with 23 points, six rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot.  In her first professional game of her career, Stewart showed the potential of a star in the making leading her team in four statistical categories..  Stewart went 9-13 from the field and got a lot of good cuts and layups to the basket.  One of the most impressive plays was when she stole a pass on the defensive side of the ball, raced down the court and laid it up over two Sparks defenders. 

Not to be completely outshined by this year's number one overall draft pick, last year's number one overall pick (and 2015 Rookie of the Year), also had a strong game.  Jewell Loyd scored 20 points, including 8-8 from the FT line, and led the team with five assists.  Loyd played the most of any player with 36 minutes logged and played a good portion of that time at the Point Guard position. 

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis struggled early in the game.  Mosqueda-Lewis just joined the team a few days ago and did not play in either pre-season game as she was still playing overseas in France.  It was apparent that Mosqueda-Lewis did not have much practice time with the team as she had two or three turnovers in the first few minutes that she was out there on the floor.  However, she did improve as the game went on.  KML shot 3-4 from the floor and scored seven points; which was good enough for third best on the team.

A big problem for the Storm was that Stewie, Loyd, and Mosqueda-Lewis combined for 50 of the 66 points the entire team scored.  That means that 7 other players combined to score 16 points in the game.  No matter how good the young core of Stewart, Loyd, and to a lesser extent Mosqueda-Lewis may become.  The Storm will need to get a lot more out of all their other players, including veterans Sue Bird and Crystal Langhorne if they want to have a chance to win more games than they did last season.

Speaking of Langhorne, she did not play well at all.  With the emergence of Breanna Stewart, Langhorne seemed to be out of play.  She did not play in either pre-season game, which was reported as a coach's decision.  But Crystal did not look sharp in today's game.  She only took one shot in the entire game and scored just two points.  She also had five turnovers which led the team.  The Storm need more from Langhorne who led the team in scoring last season.

The Los Angeles Sparks were led by Candace Parker, who led all players with 34 points.  Parker may have felt like she was slighted by being left off Team USA Olympic Team, after winning Gold Medals in 2008 and 2012.  Parker was questionably left off the Olympic team in favor of Seattle's Breanna Stewart.  The Sparks had two other players score in double-figures with Kristi Toliver scoring 14 points and four assists.  And Nneka Ogwumike added 13 points and led the Sparks with seven rebounds.  The Sparks also forced the Storm until 24 turnovers; which allowed them to take a big lead throughout the game.

The Storm will head home to Seattle to practice before they head to Phoenix for their second straight road game, which will be on Friday.  Seattle will have their home opener next Sunday at 4:00pm as they host the WNBA reigning champions, the Minnesota Lynx.

You can view the highlights of Breanna Stewart at the link below:
Stewart scores 23 in WNBA Debut