WNBA Game Preview - New York v Seattle

 
WNBA Basketball
Scoreboard | Stats | Standings | Teams
77
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
New York Liberty 16 27 15 19 77
Seattle Storm 26 20 16 23 85
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7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)04:0022:00 ET9:00 PM CTNaN:� , August 17, 2018
KeyArena, Seattle, Washington  Attendance: 10,873

Storm clinch top playoff seed with win over Liberty

The Seattle Storm have weathered the ... uh, storm.

After having played nine of their past 10 games on the road, the league-leading Storm (24-8) return home for the final two games of the regular season with a two-game lead over Atlanta and their magic number to clinch the top seed in the WNBA playoffs down to one.

Those two games are Friday against New York (7-25) and Sunday against Dallas (14-18), the two coldest teams in the league. The Liberty have lost 11 in a row and the Wings have lost nine -- costing coach Fred Williams his job.

That means the Storm would seem to have a good shot at taking the top seed for the first time since 2010, when they won the last of their two WNBA titles.

Seattle is led by Breanna Stewart, a favorite for the league's MVP award. She is second in the WNBA in scoring (22.0 points per game), third in rebounds (8.4) and seventh in steals (1.4) and blocked shots (1.4).

"To me, MVP is an award you get when you're playing at a high level but your team is doing something great, too," Stewart told The Seattle Times. "Honestly, the wins are what's most important. Whatever happens from there is gravy."

Stewart had 17 points and a season-high 17 rebounds in the Storm's last game, an 81-72 victory at defending champion Minnesota on Sunday. It was Seattle's 13th road victory of the season, tying a league record.

"I can think of three times off the top of my head where it literally just felt like Stewie won us the game this year," Storm point guard Sue Bird, who played much of her career alongside three-time MVP Lauren Jackson, told The Times. "That's what Lauren would do, just put us on her shoulders and away we went. (Stewart) is just point-blank winning us the game."

New York hasn't won since July 15. The Liberty lost 85-72 Wednesday at Las Vegas without veteran center Tina Charles, who sat out with back spasms. Charles, a five-time All-Star and the 2012 league MVP, averages a team-high 20.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

"We are battling a lot of injuries, everybody is just fighting through," Liberty guard Bria Hartley said. "I think every game we go into, we approach it trying to get a win. I know we've been on a rough streak right now and we're fighting really hard, so that we can come out and at least finish the season on a high note with two good wins with the last games we have left."

Updated August 16, 2018

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