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Storm beat Sparks 84-62 in coach Hughes’ return

June 22, 2019
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Seattle Storm's Jewell Loyd tries to get around Los Angeles Sparks' Alana Beard during a WNBA basketball game Friday, June 21, 2019, in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald via AP)

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Jewell Loyd made a career-high five 3-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 on 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. Seattle led 46-34 at the break after making eight 3-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 of 26 from 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 1-of-9 shooting in 23 minutes.

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic sat courtside.

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