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Mercury pick up first loss of season in 16-point defeat

Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi reacts to a call in their favor against the Seattle Storm in the first half of a WNBA basketball game, Sunday, May 20, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

PHOENIX — Jewell Loyd scored 29 points, Breanna Stewart had nine points and 11 rebounds and the Seattle Storm beat the Phoenix Mercury 87-71 on Wednesday night.

Sue Bird capped the first-half scoring with a 3-pointer to extend Seattle’s lead to 46-33. The Storm outscored Phoenix 31-13 in the second quarter after the Mercury opened the game on a 13-2 run.

The Storm went on a 10-2 run — eight coming from the line — for an 11-point lead with 6:11 remaining in the fourth quarter. Their lead didn’t drop below nine points the rest of the way.

Alysha Clark added 16 points for Seattle (1-1) and Bird finished with 11. Loyd made all 10 of her free throws as Seattle hit 22 of 23 compared to Phoenix’s 11 attempts.

Diana Taurasi led Phoenix (2-1) with four 3-pointers and 23 points. Brittney Griner added 18 points.

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