Seattle Storm looks to take 2-game lead over Phoenix in WNBA semifinals
SEATTLE -- The Seattle Storm looks to take a two-game lead over Phoenix on Tuesday night in their semifinals match-up against the Mercury.
No pressure, Seattle Storm.
But fan Gina Hernandez isn't looking to end her streak.
"I haven't seen a loss this season," she told KOMO News outside KeyArena on Tuesday afternoon.
Hernandez admits that she’s not big on superstitions, but she definitely thinks her green and yellow shoes have helped keep her winning record going.
"I always wear the same shoes," Hernandez said. "I try to keep something consistent in the outfit, and that’s been the go-to this season."
The focus Tuesday night for 2018 WNBA Most Valuable Player Breanna Stewart will be on the Mercury’s big 3: Diana Taurasi, DeWanna Bonner, and Brittney Griner, who was held to just 13 points during the Storm’s nail-biting win on Sunday.
For Stewart, this season feels different.
"The atmosphere around a winning season, a winning culture is a lot different. Obviously, we had fun my first two years, but things weren’t going as planned. And to have fun and win makes things a whole lot better," Stewart told KOMO News after Tuesday's team practice. "We took that next step, you know? That’s what needed to happen. We needed to bring our game to the next level to be able to compete with the best teams in the league and now we have."
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"We’ve kind of been leaning on our veterans. They’ve been here before. Definitely Sue. She knows what it’s like to play in a packed KeyArena. For most of us, these younger players – we’ve never seen it like this, so this is exciting," added Jewell Loyd, one of three Storm players to be named WNBA All-Stars this season.
Taylor Ashford hopes to feel that excitement for the first time since moving to Seattle from Missouri just a week ago.
He'll be attending his first WNBA game on Tuesday night.
"I’m expecting a big game," he said. "I mean – I saw Breanna Stewart’s the MVP. Then you got legends like Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner on the other side. Sue Bird on this side. So, it’s kinda like a small All-Star game to me for a fan that’s never been to an actual game."
Hernandez expects the Storm to start next season as reigning WNBA champions.
The goal is definitely within reach, she said.
"I think it would mean a lot. And I think it would say a lot to the community and haven’t stepped into the stadium yet or haven’t come to a game. That this is a team that’s here to win and want to win. Not just for themselves, but for the city," Hernandez said. "I think for the city, for the players, it’s going to mean a lot. I’m excited. And I think it’s going to happen."
Tip-off for Game 2 is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday.
If the Storm wins Tuesday night, the team will look to close out the series in Phoenix on Friday night.