WNBA All-Star: Brittney Griner, Jewell Loyd’s record 31 points lead Team Stewart past Team Wilson

Jul 15, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Team Wilson guard Chelsea Gray (12) controls the ball against Team Stewart frontcourt Brittney Griner (42) during the first half in the 2023 WNBA All-Star Game at Michelob Ultra Arena. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

Brittney Griner set them up at WNBA All-Star Game. Jewell Loyd knocked them down.

The tandem feasted from inside and out on Saturday to lead Team Stewart to a 143-127 win over an Aces-stacked Team Wilson in Las Vegas. Loyd set an All-Star Game scoring record in the process while securing MVP honors.

Griner, playing in her first All-Star game since missing last season while detained in Russia, scored the first six points for Team Stewart. Loyd then connected on the game’s first 4-pointer to extend Team Stewart’s lead to 10-4 in a sign of things to come. Team Wilson would never retake the lead.

Griner, a center for the Phoenix Mercury, finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds in her eighth All-Star appearance. Loyd, a Seattle Storm guard, led the scoring effort with an All-Star Game record 31 points alongside 6 assists and 4 rebounds.

Team Stewart kept on the gas with a transition dunk from Griner late in the first quarter to extend its edge to 23-16.

Then the four-pointers started dropping.

Each side of the court was donned with two circles placed 28 feet from the basket. If a player made a shot with her foot anywhere in the circle, the bucket was worth four points. The teams combined to make nine of them in the second half. Four of them were courtesy of newly crowned 3-point champion Sabrina Ionescu, who scored 15 first-half points off the Team Stewart bench.

But the long-distance spotlight belonged to Loyd on Saturday, who combined to connect on 10 of 21 shots from 3 and 4-point distance.

Team Stewart extended its lead at halftime to 73-63 and entered the fourth quarter with a 110-93 edge. Late in the fourth quarter, the only question remaining was whether Loyd would break the All-Star Game scoring record. She answered it with a 3-pointer with 2:17 remaining to reach 31 points. The mark broke the previous record of 30 held by Maya Moore and Aces guard Kelsey Plum, who reached the mark as the game’s MVP last season.

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