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Storm Sweep Lynx to Advance to W.N.B.A. Finals

BRADENTON, Fla. — Breanna Stewart scored a career-playoff-high 31 points, tying Seattle’s franchise playoff record, Sue Bird had 16 points and 9 assists, and the Storm beat Minnesota, 92-71, on Sunday to sweep the Lynx and advance to the W.N.B.A. finals.

Stewart added six rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks. Mercedes Russell tied her season high with 10 points for the second-seeded Storm.

Bird and Stewart combined to score or assist 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 minute 5 seconds left in the first half, but Minnesota scored 16 of the next 21 points, including 6 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 3-point play and then hit a 3 in a 12-0 run that made it 60-41 with about four minutes later. 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 percent) on Sunday.

Napheesa Collier led Minnesota with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks. Damiris Dantas and Dangerfield — the 2020 W.N.B.A. 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 on 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.

Angel McCoughtry scored 16 of her 29 points in the third quarter as Las Vegas took control and the Aces beat the Sun, 84-75, on Sunday in Game 4 of their best-of-five W.N.B.A. semifinal series.

McCoughtry finished with six assists, five rebounds and three steals. A’ja Wilson, the 2020 league most valuable player, had 18 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists for top-seeded Las Vegas, and Danielle Robinson also scored 18 points.

Game 5 is Tuesday.

McCoughtry scored 14 of the first 18 second-half points for Las Vegas and assisted on the remaining 4 as the Aces turned a 1-point halftime deficit into a 55-46 lead midway through the third quarter. Connecticut trailed by at least 9 points the rest of the way.

Las Vegas was without the reigning two-time W.N.B.A. sixth woman of the year, Dearica Hamby, who will most likely miss the remainder of the playoffs with a knee injury.

Jasmine Thomas made a career-high six 3-pointers on 11 attempts and finished with 25 points for the Sun. Alyssa Thomas added 15 points and DeWanna Bonner had 10 points and a season-high 15 rebounds.

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