Scoring records, Griner’s return mark notable All-Star game

Jewell Loyd hoists the MVP trophy as other All-Stars look on. WNBA photo.

Jewell Loyd’s record scoring and Brittney Griner’s joyous return highlighted this year’s WNBA All-Star game Saturday, in which Team Stewart ran past Team Wilson, 143-127.

Loyd hit 10 3’s – including one 4-point shot – for 31 points, helping Breanna Stewart’s team to the win, which eclipsed last year’s record of 134 for A’ja Wilson’s squad. Kelsey Plum, who won last year’s MVP trophy, scored 30 points for Team Wilson, which was the same number of points she had last year, marking a first for the league in multiple All-Star matchups.

Storm veteran Loyd, who is the league’s top scorer at 25.7 points per game, said she had a goal to win the MVP award, which she dedicated to her parents, in honor of their 40th wedding anniversary.

Griner, who spent 10 months last year detained in a Russian jail before being freed in a prisoner exchange, made the most of her first All-Star appearance in two years. She enthralled the crowd with two dunks, and hammed it up with fellow players.

“I called my knees and talked to them, and gave them a little pep talk,” she joked afterwards.

Last year, each All-Star player came out after halftime wearing Griner’s No. 42 jersey. Griner said being back in person this summer was special.

“I’m just happy to be here in this building,” she said. “All-Star is just a fun time we all get to be together. Just being here with them after everything they did to support me through one of the toughest times it just means everything to be right here.”