The defending WNBA champion Seattle Storm opened their 2019 season with authority as they overcame an 11-point first half deficit and downed the visiting Phoenix Mercury 77-68 in front of a packed house at Angel of the Winds Arena.
The game was a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Semifinals, won by the Storm three games to two.
Seattle was playing without their two biggest stars reigning league MVP Brenna Stewart and Sue Bird. Stewart is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles and Bird is out indefinitely as she awaits arthroscopic surgery on her knee. Phoenix was also playing without one of their biggest stars as Diana Taurasi is out for a couple of months following back surgery.
Seattle had a strong defense performance, at one point holding the Mercury scoreless for a four-minute stretch in the first half.
Natasha Howard put on a show for the Storm, putting in 21 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. Guard Jewell Loyd put in 17 points and dished out 4 assists while point guard Jordin Canada finished with a career high 16 points and 6 assists.
DeWanna Bonner was an offensive force for the Mercury, putting in 31 total points while also pulling down 8 rebounds. Bonner led the Mercury on a 12-0 run in the 3rd and 4th quarters, with her scoring all 12 of those points.
Brittney Griner contributed 18 points for the Mercury while also pulling down 8 boards.
Seattle Storm game story: