Jewell Loyd gave the Seattle Storm a major boost ahead of No. 1 draft pick Breanna Stewart's home debut for the team.
Earning a win in that highly anticipated game will likely prove challenging for the Storm, given the way Minnesota's title defense has started.
The Lynx will seek to improve to 3-0 while registering another decisive victory Sunday.
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Loyd scored a career-high 30 points, 10 in the final 3:14, and banked in her final shot with 2.9 seconds left to deliver an 81-80 victory over Phoenix on Friday. Stewart registered her first double-double – 14 points and 13 rebounds – after tallying 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting in her pro debut, a 96-66 defeat to Los Angeles last Sunday.
Stewart and the Storm (1-1) will next face a team that's won its first two games by a combined 36 points.
Sylvia Fowles had 24 points and 13 rebounds in a 97-80 win at Chicago on Wednesday, her first matchup against her former team. Maya Moore chipped in 22 points after tallying 27 in a 95-76 win over Phoenix on May 14.
Minnesota (2-0) has shot a combined 52.8 percent from the field and 32 of 37 from the free-throw line. The Lynx registered 27 assists in their latest win, topping their best performance from 2015 by two, and had 24 versus Phoenix.
“We've kind of gotten back to the way we have played in past years, which is sharing the ball,” coach Cheryl Reeve told the team's official website. “We've got good players all over the place, and if we just make the easy play, that leads to that big number in assists.”
The Storm snapped a six-game skid to Minnesota in their final matchup in 2015, claiming a 78-64 home victory Sept. 11. The Lynx, however, were resting Moore, Seimone Augustus (foot) and Lindsay Whalen (Achilles) before their playoff run.
Minnesota, though, has lost three of its past four visits to Seattle. The Storm were 8-9 at home last season during their 10-24 campaign.