Seattle Storm 77 – New York Liberty 62
Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd both poured in 21 points and Natasha Howard added 13 as the Storm breezed by the Liberty. Sue Bird tied her season high for assists with 11 on the game. The Storm are tied with the Phoenix Mercury for first place in the standings at 13-5.
Seattle outplayed New York in almost every statistical category. The Storm shot the ball well for the majority of game finishing 46.2 percent on the game versus the Liberty who shot 38.2 and out-rebounded New York 38-31 leading to 19 second chance points.
Defensively, the Storm gave up a season low of only 62 points to the Liberty, who continue to struggle with consistency this season on both ends of the floor. They currently sit at 11th place at 5-12.
"We're being very repetitive on what we've asked them to do. We were undisciplined and not always on the same page on both ends of the floor," Katie Smith, head coach of the Liberty said in a post game press conference. "At the end of the day, it's just not a very disciplined basketball team."
Indiana Fever 71 – Minnesota Lynx 59
In just their second win of the season, the Fever were able to take down the defending WNBA champions to secure their first road win. The Fever took control of the game early on and led by as many as 11 at one point. Natalie Achonwa led the Fever offensively finishing with 17 points on 7-10 shooting. Victoria Vivians continues to play well finishing with 13 points and 3-7 from the three point line.
The newest addition to the Fever, Cappie Pondexter, made her debut since being signed to Indiana this past Sunday. She finished with 12 points in 21 minutes of play off the bench.
The Lynx were red hot coming into the contest riding a seven game win streak. What was most impressive from the Fever win was the defensive effort put forward and ability to stick to the game plan. Indiana was able to hold Minnesota to their lowest points scored so far this season and only one player scored in double figures. Rebekkah Brunson led the Lynx with 13 points, while Maya Moore struggled with nine on 3-15 shooting and Sylvia Fowles with eight on 4-12 shooting.
— Indiana Fever (@IndianaFever) July 4, 2018
This is what I call a trap game. The type of game coaches hate to try and get their teams up for. The Lynx came out riding their win streak, feeling great about themselves and potentially looking ahead to their big rematch with the LA Sparks. Meanwhile, a hungry Fever team knows they're going to steal a few more wins, why not against the defending champs? With new additions to the team, excitement around the rookies, the Fever had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Chicago Sky 85 – Dallas Wings 108
The Chicago Sky had no answer for Liz Cambage, as she was on an absolute terror scoring 37 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for her seventh double-double on the season. Cambage is one of the most dominant presences we have ever seen in the WNBA.
In a close contest, it was a two point game at half before the Wings blew it out of the water quickly in the third quarter. Skylar Diggins-Smith added 20 points and rookie Azura Stevens chipped in with 12. The Wings shot the ball 57 percent from the field, primarily fueled by the play of Cambage.
Diamond DeShields finished with 20 and Allie Quigley added 18 for the Chicago Sky, but it was defensive end of the floor that was the game. Anytime you give up 108, you're just not going to win very many of those games.
Check out this game and shot chart provided by Positive Residual analytics. Keep im mind the attention she draws from the defense, usually with at least two defenders on her most of the time, she finished a perfect 9-9 in the restricted area.
— Dallas Wings (@DallasWings) July 4, 2018
Connecticut Sun 73 – Los Angeles Sparks 72
In a crazy and exciting late-night matchup between two very well coached teams, the Suns were able to hang on to secure a much needed road win for themselves. Two storylines that made this game even more interesting; Curt Miller was previously on the Sparks staff before taking the head coaching position with the Sun and the Ogwumike sisters competing against each other.
The Sun jumped out to an 18-8 lead in the first quarter and kept it going in the middle of the second where they lead 35-17 at one point. Los Angeles was held to just two field goals in the first quarter on 15 percent shooting. In the second half, the Sparks fought back from the first half deficit and even had a chance to win the game at the buzzer on a Nneka Ogwumike steal but it did not fall.
Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks with 20 points and five rebounds. Chiney Ogwumike reigned in 21 points and seven rebounds for the Sun and came up big the entire game, including the final shot down the stretch to give them the lead. (Note: 3 seconds orrrr?)
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) July 4, 2018
Ultimately, the Sun outplayed the Sparks, outrebounding them 34-27, they finished with 40 points in the paint and shot the ball better. The downfall for the Sparks was that tough and brutal start. "Unfortunately, it came down to that. We kind of kicked ourselves in the butt the way we played in the first half," said Sparks guard Alana Beard in post game. "We were getting stops, we were getting scores. Unfortunately, we had a few defensive breakdowns and not enough execution on the offensive end when we really needed it, and I think that hurt us."