WNBA 2022 Playoffs: No.  4 Storm rallied behind Jewell Loyd's 4th Quarter for 86-83 win over No.  5 Mystics

WNBA 2022 Playoffs: No. 4 Storm rallied behind Jewell Loyd’s 4th Quarter for 86-83 win over No. 5 Mystics

The star power was plentiful in a first-round WNBA playoffs game that wouldn’t look out of place in the finals.

In Sue Bird’s final postseason, No. 4 seed Seattle Storm rallied for an 86-83 win over No. 5 Washington Mystics in Game 1 at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena on Thursday night.

Jewell Loyd didn’t score a field goal until the fourth quarter, but she turned it on at the right time, scoring 14 points in the second half. She finished with 16 points. Breanna Stewart led the Storm with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

Bird passed 100 3-pointers in her post-season career, becoming the fourth WNBA player to reach the milestone. Diana Taurasi, Becky Hammon and Maya Moore also have over 100 playoff triples.

The Mystics opened the game with a 7-0 run and had a slight advantage of 42-40 at halftime, but the Storm continued to fight through 15 changes of lead and tied 11 times.

The Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne looked comfortable in her return to the postseason after having played just three games in the past two seasons. She missed the 2020 ‘wubble’ season after opting out due to the COVID-19 pandemic and only played three games in 2021 due to ongoing back problems.

The two-time WNBA MVP scored 26 points and added five assists. Ariel Atkins and Natasha Cloud each added 16 points.

How the Storm Won Game 1

Turnover looked like they would doom the Storm as the Mystics kept pushing them to the brink. Seattle turned the ball 13 times.

But Lloyd came to the rescue.

Loyd, who scored 38 points in the regular season finale, only had two points in the first half. The Storm desperately needed another goalscorer outside of Stewart as Delle Donne and the Mystics didn’t give up.

Loyd scored her first field goal of the game with 4:52 left, which kicked off 12 straight points to keep the Storm in.

What the Mystics can do to even make the series

Delle Donne played 32 minutes in Game 1, up from her 28 per game during the regular season. The Mystics were cautious about her return this season. They will need others to act in Game 2 to avoid the sweep and force a Game 3 back in DC

Getting Delle Donne rest breaks is key before a cross-country run for a potential Game 3. She is coming off two back surgeries and lingering issues that kept her out for most of last season. She looked impressive in Game 1, giving the Mystics hope for another lower-place title win.

mystics vs. Storm Series Schedule

Game 1: Seattle 86, Washington 83

Match 2 (Sunday): Washington in Seattle, 4 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 3 (Wednesday, if needed): Seattle in Washington, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2

WNBA 2022 Playoffs: Follow all the first-round action live, including TV schedule, lineups, injury reports and more

Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne (11) drives against Seattle Storm center Tina Charles during the first half of Game 1 of a WNBA basketball first round playoff series Thursday, August 18, 2022 in Seattle.  (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne (11) drives against Seattle Storm center Tina Charles during the first half of Game 1 of a WNBA basketball first round playoff series Thursday, August 18, 2022 in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

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