Jewell Loyd set a WNBA All-Star Game scoring record, winning the MVP

Alexa Philippou, ESPNJul 16, 2023, 01:05 AM ET

CloseCovers women’s college basketball and WNBA Previously covered UConn and WNBA Connecticut Sun for graduates of Hartford Courant Stanford and Baltimore native with further experience with Dallas Morning News, Seattle Times, and Cincinnati Enquirer

LAS VEGAS — Jewell Loyd of the Seattle Storm scored a WNBA All-Star Game scoring record with 31 points, took home the MVP award and helped Team Stewart to a 143-127 victory over Team Wilson on Saturday.

Loyd, who entered the game as the league’s leading scorer with 25.7 points per game, scored 31 points, all from outside the line, hit a record 10 3-pointers (including one 4-pointer, a special feature in the recent All-Star Games). This). ). She said winning the award was her goal and dedicated her performance to her parents, who were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on Saturday.

“I didn’t have a present for their birthday so I thought this would be acceptable,” said Loyd. “I hope so.”

Loyd’s output helped Tim Stewart set an All-Star record, surpassing Tim Wilson’s 134 points last year.

The former Notre Dame star and No. 1 overall pick. 1 2015 has taken on a bigger role for the Storm this summer following the departure of Breanna Stewart to New York Liberty and the retirement of Sue Bird. The Storm sits in last place in the WNBA standings with a 4-16 record.

“I knew that things would be different back in Seattle, so I prepared for probably the hardest I’ve ever done, knowing that I just needed it, physically and mentally,” said Loyd. “But at the same time, I just try to stay as present as I can. I don’t try to think too far ahead or worry about anything I can’t control and stay 10 feet down.”

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Notably, Loyd was presented with a much larger MVP trophy than the league’s 2022 All-Star Game MVP Kelsey Plum offered last season, a oversight that drew boos from players and fans in the aftermath.

The Plum Las Vegas Aces finished with 30 points, tying his total from last summer’s event and becoming the first player to score that many points in multiple All-Star Games. Minnesota Lynx’s Napheesa Collier and Aces’ A’ja Wilson finished with 20 points each on Saturday.

Team Stewart’s victory tied the All-Star Game series versus Team Wilson by a 1-1 scoreline, as Wilson’s team clinched victory last summer in Chicago.

“I have to say we did some screen work yesterday in training,” Stewart said of the seriousness of his team’s approach. “We did a lot of things.”

More important to the players than the result was the presence of Phoenix Mercury’s Brittney Griner, who shone with 18 points, including two dunks, and 13 rebounds. Griner, the first choice by Tim Stewart, was named the All-Star starter because he was outstanding in his first season after nearly 10 months in captivity in Russia.

Last year, players changed to jerseys with Griner’s name and number (42) at halftime of the All-Star Game to honor their colleague, who missed the entire WNBA season while in Russian custody. This time, Griner earned a standing ovation from the Vegas crowd during his player intro and showcased his usual playing personality, challenging the Aces’ Chelsea Gray to take him off the wing by slapping the floor, out of the locker room during halftime. the 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 act.

“I love being in this building,” Griner said. “All-Star is an exciting time for all of us to be together. Just to be here with them after all they’ve done to support me through one of the toughest times, it means everything is here.”

Added Griner’s teammate on Tim Stewart and Los Angeles Sparks star Nneka Ogwumike, also president of the WNBPA: “It’s always great to have BG on the court. I think anyone can say they’re on board with that. BG, one thing about him is that he always will did it. He brings love, he brings joy and he just knows how to make everyone feel special, and that’s something we wanted to do for him. I’d rather play with him than against him, but I’m so happy that I wish him an All-Star very good one too.”

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