(Image Credit: Seattle Storm twitter)
The Seattle Storm hoisted the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup by thoroughly dismantling the Connecticut Sun 79-57. Many people thought the Storm players might be off their game and fatigued after five of their elite players represented their country in the Olympics. But that was far from the case. Instead, Seattle’s players looked well-conditioned and in rhythm from Olympic play. The Storm’s victory in the Commissioner’s Cup earned each player a cool $30,000, and the runner-up Sun earned $10,000 per player as well.
Seattle was on their game early, despite playing for the first time with the whole team since before the Olympic break. They came out with force and by halftime, Seattle had stretched the lead to 46-35. Once the second half started, Jewel Loyd scored seven of the teams 22 points in the third quarter, and the blowout was on.
Stewart earned an additional $5,000 for winning the MVP award. It’s just the latest in a string of trophies she’s won over the last year. Stewart won a Russian title and Finals MVP, EuroLeague championship and Final Four MVP, and WNBA title and Finals MVP.
Stewart scored 17 points on 6-8 shooting from the field and 3-4 shooting from beyond the arc. She also grabbed four rebounds, dished out three assists, and had four steals and blocked shots. The superstar Olympian did it all for the Storm.
Fellow Olympians Jewell Loyd and Sue Bird added sixteen and ten points respectively, adding up to a whopping 43 points for Seattle’s big three. We’ve come to expect these types of performances from that group, so it will be up to the bench if they want to repeat as champions. That bench managed to score 28 points in the Commissioner’s Cup game. The Storm had 11 different players score in the game, and Epiphany Prince led the bench in scoring with seven points, while five other bench players scored a basket.
From the start, Connecticut stars DeWanna Bonner and Jonquel Jones both struggled to find their rhythm. Bonner scored 11 points on 4-10 shooting, and Jones scored 10 points on 5-15 shooting, but she did manage to grab 15 rebounds. As a team, the Sun shot just 32.9 from the field, and the Storm shot 49.2% from the field. At the end of the day, it’s going to be hard to stay competitive with this offensively explosive Seattle squad when you’re not knocking down easy looks with regularity.