Jewell Loyd made a career-high five three-pointers and scored 23 points, and Seattle beat the Los Angeles Sparks 84-62 on Friday night in Storm coach Dan Hughes’ season debut.
The 64-year-old coach shared his cancer diagnosis before the season began and underwent surgery to remove a carcinoid tumor in his digestive tract May 14. The Storm went 5-4 in his absence with assistant Gary Kloppenburg acting as head coach.
Natasha Howard added 20 points and nine rebounds for defending champion Seattle (6-4).
Loyd scored Seattle’s first 11 points and finished the half with 17 points. The Storm led 46-34 at the break after making eight three-pointers. Howard added 16 points and seven rebounds. Seattle went on a 16-8 run to open the third quarter for a 20-point lead and cruised.
Alysha Clark had nine points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Seattle, which was 14 for 26 from long distance.
Nneka Ogwumike scored a team-high 10 points for Los Angeles (4-5), which has lost three straight. Candace Parker played her second game since suffering a preseason hamstring injury and finished with two points on one-for-nine shooting in 23 minutes.
Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic sat courtside.