Joel Lloyd Sets Record WNBA All-Star Game, Wins MVP Award

Alexa FilippoESPNJuly 16, 2023, 01:05 a.m. ET3 minutes to read

LAS VEGAS — Joel Lloyd of the Seattle Storm broke a WNBA All-Star Game record with 31 points, took home MVP honors and helped Stewart’s team win 143-127 over Team Wilson on Saturday.

Loyd, who entered the game as the league’s leading scorer with 25.7 points a game, scored 31 points, all from outside the arc, hitting a record 10 three-pointers (including one pointer, a special feature in recent All-Star Games). She said winning the award was her goal and dedicated the show to her parents, who are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on Saturday.

“I didn’t get a present for the anniversary, so I guess that would be acceptable,” said Lloyd. “I hope you are.”

Loyd’s production helped Stewart’s team score an All-Star record, surpassing the 134 points set by Team Wilson last year.

The former Notre Dame star and 2015 No. 1 overall pick has played a bigger role in the Storm this summer following the departure of Brenna Stewart from New York Liberty and the retirement of Sue Bird. The Storm are last in the WNBA standings with a 4-16 record.

“I knew things were going to be different when she came back to Seattle, so I prepared probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, knowing I was going to need it both physically and mentally,” Lloyd said. “But at the same time, I’m just trying to stay present as much as possible. I’m not trying to think too much about the future or worry about anything I can’t really control and just stay on track.”

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Notably, Loyd received a much larger MVP award than the league’s 2022 All-Star Game MVP Kelsey Plum presented last season, an oversight that has players and fans derided in the aftermath.

Plum Plum finished the Las Vegas Aces with 30 points, tying her total from last summer’s event and becoming the first player to score that many points in multiple All-Star Games. The Minnesota Lynx’ Nabhisa Collier and the Aces’ Aja Wilson both finished with 20 points on Saturday.

Team Stewart’s win tied the 1-1 All-Star Game series versus Team Wilson as Team Wilson pulled off a win last summer in Chicago.

“I have to say we were practically on the ball screens yesterday,” Stewart said of the seriousness of her team’s approach. “We were doing a lot.”

More important for the players than the score was Phoenix Mercury quarterback Brittney Griner, who shone with 18 points, including two, and 13 rebounds. A first pick by Team Stewart, Griner was named a starter All-Star as she excelled in her senior season after nearly 10 months of detention in Russia.

Last year, players changed into T-shirts with Griner’s name and number (42) at halftime of the All-Star game to honor their counterpart, who missed the entire WNBA season while in Russian custody. This time, Griner received a standing ovation from the Vegas crowd during the player introductions and showed off her usual perky personality, challenging the Aces’ Chelsea Gray to take her off the wing by slapping the floor, and running out of the locker room during halftime. Offered to film Kehlani performing with her wife, Cherelle, standing next to her and even eating a snow cone on the bench during the second half.

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“I’m happy to be here in this building,” said Greiner. “The All-Stars is just such a fun time for all of us to get together. Just being here with them after all they’ve done to support me through one of my toughest times, it means everything is here.”

Griner’s Stewart teammate and Los Angeles Sparks star Nneka Ogwumike, who is also WNBPA president, added: “It’s always great to have a BG on the field. I think anyone can tell they get along with that. BG, one thing about her is that she always will.” She brings love, she brings excitement and she just knows how to make everyone feel special, and that’s something we wanted to do for her. I’d rather play with her than play against her, but I’m so glad I hope she gets an All-Star really well. “.

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