Alexa PhilippouESPN3 minute read
LAS VEGAS – Jewell Loyd of the Seattle Storm set a WNBA All-Star Game scoring record with 31 points, earning MVP honors and helping Team Stewart to a 143-127 win over Team Wilson on Saturday .
Loyd, who entered the game as the league’s top scorer with 25.7 ppg, scored 31 points, all from beyond the arc, hitting a record 10 3-pointers (including a to 4 points, a special feature of recent All-Star Games). She said winning the award was her goal and dedicated the performance to her parents, who are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on Saturday.
“I didn’t have a present for their birthday, so I think that will be acceptable,” Loyd said. “I hope so.”
Loyd’s production helped Team Stewart set an All-Star record, surpassing Team Wilson’s 134 points last year.
The former Notre Dame star and 2015 No. 1 overall pick has taken on an even bigger role for the Storm this summer following the departure of Breanna Stewart to the New York Liberty and the retirement of Sue Bird. The Storm sit last in the WNBA standings with a 4-16 record.
“I knew things would be different coming back to Seattle, so I prepared for probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, knowing that I would just need it, physically and mentally,” Loyd said. “But at the same time, I just try to stay as present as possible. I don’t try to think too much ahead or worry about anything that I can’t really control and stay 10 toes away. down.”
Notably, Loyd received a much larger MVP trophy than was offered by league MVP of the 2022 All-Star Game Kelsey Plum last season, an oversight that ridiculed players and fans afterward.
The Las Vegas Aces’ Plum finished with 30 points, tying her total from last summer’s event and becoming the first player to score that many points in multiple All-Star Games. Napheesa Collier of the Minnesota Lynx and A’ja Wilson of the Aces each finished with 20 points on Saturday.
Team Stewart’s win tied the All-Star Game series against Team Wilson at 1-1, as Wilson’s team took victory last summer in Chicago.
“I have to say we were working on the ball screens yesterday in training,” Stewart said of the seriousness of his team’s approach. “We were doing a lot.”
More important to the players than the result was the presence of Brittney Griner of Phoenix Mercury, who shone with 18 points, including two dunks, and 13 rebounds. Griner, Team Stewart’s first pick, was named the All-Star starter as she excelled in her first season after being held nearly 10 months in Russia.
Last year, players donned shirts bearing Griner’s name and number (42) at halftime at the All-Star Game to honor their counterpart, who missed the entire WNBA season while detained by Russia. This time, Griner received a rousing ovation from the Vegas crowd during player introductions and showed off her usual playful personality, challenging Chelsea Gray of the Aces to take her from the wing by stomping the ground, stepping out of the locker room during mid -time. show to film Kehlani’s performance with his wife, Cherelle, standing by his side and even eating a snow cone on the bench during the second half.
“I’m just happy to be here in this building,” Griner said. “All-Star is just a fun time where we can all be together. Just to be here with them after all they’ve done to support me through one of the toughest times just means that everything must be here.”
Nneka Ogwumike, Griner’s Team Stewart teammate and Los Angeles Sparks star, also president of the WNBPA, added: “It’s always wonderful to have BG on the court. I think everyone can say that he is okay with that. BG, one thing about her is she’s always gonna do it. She brings love, she brings excitement and she knows how to make everyone feel special , and that’s something we wanted to do for her. I’d rather play with her than against her, but I’m very happy to hope she had a really good All-Star as well.”