MINNEAPOLIS — Natasha Howard scored 21 points, Breanna Stewart had 17 points and a season-high 17 rebounds and the Seattle Storm beat the Minnesota Lynx 81-72 on Sunday night.
Seattle maintained its two-game lead over second-place Atlanta and reduced its magic number for the top seed in the playoffs to one. Seattle and Atlanta each have two games remaining.
Stewart scored eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, during an 11-0 run that gave the Storm (24-8) a 73-58 lead with 4:54 left.
Jewell Loyd added 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Storm, who never trailed.
Sylvia Fowles had 28 points and 13 rebounds for the Lynx (17-14). They tied it twice in the first quarter and kept the deficit within single digits most of the way. Minnesota closed to 62-58 early in the fourth quarter before the Storm pulled away for good.