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Seattle Storm Breanna Stewart
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Stewart’s 31 leads Seattle Storm past Minnesota and into WNBA finals

Breanna Stewart led the Storm to a sweep of the Lynx and return to the WNBA Finals. (Getty)

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) – Breanna Stewart scored a career playoff-high 31 points – tying the Seattle’ Storm franchise playoff record – and Sue Bird had 16 points and nine assists, and the Storm beat Minnesota 92-71 on Sunday to sweep the Lynx and advance to the WNBA Finals.

Seattle Storm 92, Minnesota Lynx 71: Box Score

Stewart added six rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks. Mercedes Russell tied her season high with 10 points for the No. 2 seed Storm.

Bird and Stewart combined to score or assists on 13 points during a 17-0 run that gave Seattle a 24-8 lead when Sami Whitcomb made a layup with 54.2 seconds left in the first quarter.

Stewart made a short jumper to push the Storm’s lead to 18 points with 1:05 left in the first half but Minnesota scored 16 of the next 21 points, inclduing six by Crystal Dangerfield and two 3-pointers by Odyssey Sims, to make it 48-41 about three minutes into the third quarter.

Stewart answered with back-to-back layups and, after Jewell Loyd made another layup, Stewart converted a three-point play and then hit a 3 in a 12-0 run that made it 60-41 with about four minutes later and Minnesota trailed by double figures the rest of the way.

The fourth-seeded Lynx, who came in averaging a playoff-low 11.0 turnovers per game, committed 19 on Sunday. They made 27 of 59 from 3-point range in the first two games of the series but hit just 7 of 22 (31.8%) on Sunday.

Napheesa Collier led Minnesota with 22 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks. Damiris Dantas and Dangerfield – the 2020 WNBA rookie of the year – scored 16 points apiece and Sims added 10 points.

The Storm will play either top-seeded Las Vegas or No. 7 seed Connecticut in the Finals, which begin Friday. Seattle lost both regular season matchups with the Aces – including an 86-84 loss in the regular season finale – and won its two regular season games against the Sun by an average of 18 points.

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