PHOENIX – Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd scored 20 points apiece, and the Seattle Storm beat the Phoenix Mercury 98-89 on Saturday night in their first game since Gary Kloppenburg took over as their interim coach.
Crystal Langhorne had 19 points, six rebounds and a career high-tying five assists, helping Seattle (11-16) stop a four-game slide. The Storm went 10 of 20 from 3-point range.
Kloppenburg was promoted after Jenny Boucek was fired on Thursday. He earned his first win since 2013 when he coached Tulsa.
Sami Whitcomb and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis hit back-to-back 3s before Stewart made two short baskets in a 10-0 run that gave Seattle an 88-77 lead with 6:37 to play. Diana Taurasi hit a jumper and then a 3-pointer to help the Mercury within six points a minute later, but the rally fizzled from there.
Taurasi led Phoenix (14-13) with 20 points, and Brittney Griner, who had missed the last eight games with knee and ankle injuries, scored 19.
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