Mohegan Sun Arena Uncasville

Seattle Storm vs. Connecticut Sun Pick & Prediction JUL 28TH 2022

WNBA | BASKETBALL
TV:
Logo Seattle Storm
VS
Logo Connecticut Sun
161
OPENNER
-5

161.5o -110
CURRENT
-3 -112

+134
MONEYLINE
-154

83
SCORE
88

If regular-season games in the WNBA were measured by the pure anticipation and historical overtones, it might be difficult to match what's set to take place Thursday night at Uncasville, Conn.

The Seattle Storm will visit the Connecticut Sun, but this is much more than a collision between two of the league's best teams.

Storm guard Sue Bird, a beloved figure in Connecticut since her college playing days, is winding down an illustrious career and this is her final scheduled game in the state.

Both teams are in second place in their respective conferences. The Sun (19-9) carry a three-game winning streak. The Storm (18-10) lost two in a row before beating the Atlanta Dream on Sunday.

 


It has been an emotional stretch for Bird. Last week, she faced Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi, an ex-UConn Huskies teammate, for the final time in the regular season.

During her last weeks as a player, Bird is intent on maintaining the focus that has helped define her career. That isn't likely to change even with the fanfare in Connecticut.

"I play a certain way," Bird said. "I approach the game a certain way."


Bird, 41, is averaging 7.4 points and 5.8 assists in her 19th season.

While Bird's appearance is bound to be the overwhelming theme, another Connecticut collegiate great is also with the Storm. That's forward Breanna Stewart, who leads the WNBA in scoring with 21.3 points per game. She's also Seattle's top rebounder with 7.4 per game.

The Sun can't afford to be distracted as they attempt to round into championship form.

"We're ready," forward Jonquel Jones said. "The desire is definitely there. The best way to describe it as just hunger."

Sun forward Alyssa Thomas is the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, claiming that honor for the second time this season.


Jones and Thomas rank among the top five players in the league in rebounding.

Connecticut topped the Storm 93-86 on June 5 in Seattle and then won 82-71 in a June 17 rematch at home.

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Seattle Storm
78
81
Connecticut Sun

Seattle Storm vs. Connecticut Sun

Five players scored in double figures Sunday as WNBA-leading Seattle used superior shooting and balance to dump Connecticut 95-72 in Bradenton, Fla.

Breanna Stewart led the Storm (10-1) with an efficient 19-point day, hitting on 7 of 9 shots from the field. Sami Whitcomb came off the bench to tally 14, while Sue Bird added 13. Natasha Howard chipped in 12 points to go along with 11 rebounds and three steals. Jewell Loyd netted 11 points and dished out five assists.

Jasmine Thomas scored 17 points for the Sun (4-7), which entered with four wins in their previous five games. DeWanna Bonner added 13, while Brionna Jones contributed a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double.

The starkest contrast between the teams was shooting percentage. Seattle sank 56.9 percent from the field and 56.5 percent on 3-pointers, drawing 25 assists on 37 made baskets. Connecticut made only 36.4 percent from the field, including a sickly 3 of 20 on 3-pointers.

Seattle established a 15-8 lead just under six minutes into the game as Ezi Magbegor converted a layup off a Howard feed. Connecticut was able to eat into the deficit, though, slicing it to 21-16 after a quarter as Bonner canned a foul shot with 22.7 seconds left.

The Sun stayed competitive through the second quarter, crawling within 24-21 early in the second quarter on a 3-pointer by Briann January. But the Storm gradually expanded their lead to 37-27 on a 3-pointer by Alysha Clark with 2:40 remaining in the half and settled for a 42-33 cushion at the break.

Seattle shot 50 percent in the half, a marked contrast to Connecticut's struggles. The Sun were able to can just 13 of 39 attempts from the floor, canceling out the fact they had only four turnovers.

The Storm pulled away into a consistent double-figure lead about midway through the third quarter, then used a backbreaking shot to end the period.
Whitcomb heaved in a 3-ball from just inside the time line as time expired to give them a 69-54 lead.

--Field Level Media
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