Loyd scores 25 points, reaches two milestones, to lead Storm to 72-61 win over slumping Sparks

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jewell Loyd had 25 points to lead the Seattle Storm to a 72-61 win over Los Angeles on Thursday night, dealing a setback to the Sparks playoff hopes.

Los Angeles (15-21) dropped into a tie with Chicago for the final playoff spot but the Sky hold the tiebreaker by winning the season series 3-1.

Loyd joined A'ja Wilson of Las Vegas and Breanna Stewart of New York in reaching the 800-point milestone this season. Jewell also surpassed 900 career assists.

Sami Whitcomb added 14 points for the Storm (11-15), who ended a three-game losing streak.

Nneka Ogwumike scored 11 points and Karlie Samuelson and Rae Burrell had 10 apiece for the Sparks, who shot 30% (20 of 66) and were outscored by 10 at the foul line. Jordin Canada had two steals, giving her multiple steals in 12-straight games, the longest such streak in 10 years.

Seattle took a 22-12 lead in the first quarter and led 38-29 at the break.

Los Angeles got within five early in the third quarter but the Storm pushed the lead back to 12 late before Burrell hit a 3-pointer and Zia Cooke scored two free throws to pull the Sparks within 52-44 entering the fourth quarter.

Burrell's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 57-56 but Loyd scored the next five points and nine-straight Seattle points to end the challenge.


AP WNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/wnba-basketball