Natasha Howard racked up 19 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots, and the visiting Seattle Storm rolled to an 82-66 win over the Atlanta Dream on Friday.
Jordin Canada had 12 points and seven assists, and Alysha Clark added 11 points for Seattle (2-1). Mercedes Russell and Jewell Loyd chipped in 10 apiece.
Brittney Sykes led the Dream (1-1) with 12 points but went scoreless in the second half. Tiffany Hayes and Monique Billings tossed in nine points apiece for Atlanta.
The defending champion Storm bounced back from a double-digit defeat at Minnesota on Wednesday. Seattle is playing without last year’s league Most Valuable Player, Breanna Stewart (Achilles tear), and longtime point guard Sue Bird (knee surgery).
The Dream are still awaiting the season debut of top player Angel McCoughtry (knee surgery).
The Storm finished the first quarter on a 9-2 run to take an 18-10 lead. Canada made a couple of baskets and Clark knocked down a three during that span.
The lead expanded in the second quarter as the Storm were up 45-27 at halftime. A Shavonte Zellous layup made it 25-12. Loyd hit a 3-pointer with 3:20 remaining in the half for an 18-point advantage, and two Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis free throws upped the lead to 20.
Howard had 13 points and seven rebounds by the break, while Sykes’ teammates were 6-for-29 from the field in the first half.
The Dream cut the deficit to 11 during the first five minutes of the second half. However, Seattle came right back with a 10-2 run, capped by a Clark 3-pointer. Atlanta got the deficit down to 61-47 by the end of the quarter.
Zellous made two field goals early in the fourth to push Seattle’s lead to 20 once again.
–Field Level Media