Storm secure No. 4 seed, spoil Fowles' home finale for Lynx

  • Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird, left, Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles, center, and Storm guard Briann January are honored before a WNBA basketball game Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

    Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird, left, Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles, center, and Storm guard Briann January are honored before a WNBA basketball game Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP) Associated Press

  • Minnesota Lynx's Sylvia Fowles races off the court after warming up for the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

    Minnesota Lynx's Sylvia Fowles races off the court after warming up for the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP) Associated Press

  • T-shirts in honor of Minnesota Lynx's Sylvia Fowles are draped on the seats before the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

    T-shirts in honor of Minnesota Lynx's Sylvia Fowles are draped on the seats before the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP) Associated Press

  • Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (10) is honored before the team's WNBA basketball game against the Minnesota Lynx on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

    Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (10) is honored before the team's WNBA basketball game against the Minnesota Lynx on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP) Associated Press

  • Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (34) blocks a shot from Seattle Storm's Tina Charles during the second quarter of a WNBA basketball game Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

    Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (34) blocks a shot from Seattle Storm's Tina Charles during the second quarter of a WNBA basketball game Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP) Associated Press

  • Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (34) battles for the ball with Seattle Storm forward Gabby Williams (5) during the second quarter of a WNBA basketball game Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

    Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (34) battles for the ball with Seattle Storm forward Gabby Williams (5) during the second quarter of a WNBA basketball game Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP) Associated Press

  • Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (34) is guarded by Seattle Storm's Tina Charles, center, and Breanna Stewart (30) during the first quarter of a WNBA basketball game Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

    Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (34) is guarded by Seattle Storm's Tina Charles, center, and Breanna Stewart (30) during the first quarter of a WNBA basketball game Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP) Associated Press

  • Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve wipes away a tear on the bench during the fourth quarter of the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

    Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve wipes away a tear on the bench during the fourth quarter of the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP) Associated Press

  • Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles cries during a tribute for her, at the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

    Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles cries during a tribute for her, at the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP) Associated Press

  • Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowler, rear, hugs Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (10) after a WNBA basketball game Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

    Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowler, rear, hugs Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (10) after a WNBA basketball game Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP) Associated Press

  • FILE - Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles hugs WNBA president Lisa Borders after receiving the MVP trophy as the Lynx celebrate their WNBA championship, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 in Minneapolis. Fowles, one of the league's greatest centers, is ready to move on to another career in mortuary science, no longer possessing the energy to stay in basketball shape. (Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via AP, File)

    FILE - Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles hugs WNBA president Lisa Borders after receiving the MVP trophy as the Lynx celebrate their WNBA championship, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 in Minneapolis. Fowles, one of the league's greatest centers, is ready to move on to another career in mortuary science, no longer possessing the energy to stay in basketball shape. (Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via AP, File) Associated Press

 
 
Updated 8/13/2022 8:16 AM

MINNEAPOLIS -- Tina Charles had 23 points and nine rebounds, Jewell Loyd scored 21 points and the Seattle Storm secured the No. 4 seed in the WNBA playoffs with a 96-69 victory over the Minnesota Lynx on Friday night, spoiling Sylvia Fowles' final regular-season home game.

Seattle (22-13), which closes the season on Sunday against first-place Las Vegas, will host a first-round series next week against the Washington Mystics. Minnesota (14-21) plays at Connecticut on Sunday, hoping for the final playoff spot.

 

Fowles, who helped Minnesota win WNBA titles in 2015 and 2017, retires as the league's career leader in field-goal percentage, rebounds and double-doubles. She came out of the game with two minutes left to a standing ovation after recording another double-double. Fowles was honored in a post-game ceremony in front of a packed Target Center crowd by Minnesota Lieutenant Gov. Peggy Flanagan, Lynx owner Glen Taylor, former players Rebekkah Brunson and Lindsay Whalen, and coach Cheryl Reeve.

'It's been a joy,' Fowles said. 'I never thought that I'd be here in this moment, the impact that I made across this league. I had the stars aligned for me because I had a lot of people who kept me in my place and held me to high standards.'

Fowles acknowledged her family in attendance and thanked the fans for 'embracing me with open arms.' She thanked her teammates for 'allowing me to be myself and allowing me to take no days off and keeping me motivated. Without you guys, I'm not who I am.'

Fowles. who passed Brunson for first on Minnesota's rebounds list, finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Seattle jumped out to a 30-10 lead in the first quarter and it was 45-28 at halftime. Charles scored 14 points in the first half, Loyd added 12 and Breanna Stewart had 10 points and eight rebounds. Seattle led 89-59 with three minutes left.

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Stewart finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Briann January added 11 points for Seattle. Loyd set a franchise record with her 73rd 3-pointer of the season, passing Sue Bird's 72 in 2016.

Minnesota's Aerial Powers scored 12 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter and Bridget Carleton added 11 points.

Seattle coach Noelle Quinn returned from the league's health and safety protocols following a positive test for COVID-19.

___

More AP women's basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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