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Jewell Lloyd, Breanna Stewart lead Seattle past Phoenix 74-68

Seattle Storm's Jewell Loyd (24) drives past Phoenix Mercury's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla.  (Associated Press)
Seattle Storm's Jewell Loyd (24) drives past Phoenix Mercury's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (Associated Press)
Associated Press

BRADENTON, Fla. — Jewell Loyd scored 20 points and Breanna Stewart added 15 points and Seattle used the second quarter to take control in a 74-68 win over Phoenix on Saturday.

Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi left the game with 5:18 to go with what appeared to be ankle injury. She walked off the court to the locker room without assistance.

On a drive to the basket, Stewart cut off Taurasi, who then threw a behind-the-back pass to Brittney Griner for a layup. Phoenix trailed 64-49 after the bucket.

The 38-year-old Taurasi underwent back surgery before the 2019 season, and hamstring problems limited her to six games last year.

Phoenix put up a fight and drew within 70-66 on a pair of Sophie Cunningham free throws with 26 seconds left before the Storm sealed it at the free throw line.

After Alanna Smith’s layup gave Phoenix a 16-14 lead with 95 seconds left in the first quarter, Seattle’s Breanna Smith made a layup and Sami Whitcomb a 3-pointer near the end of the quarter. Loyd started the second with back-to-back 3s, Whitcomb made another layup and Seattle began to create separation.

Griner led Phoenix with 20 points.

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