Stewart and Bird

Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm in 2019. 

The Storm weathered a blistering assault from Connecticut center Brionna Jones at the start and pulled away in the second half for an 87-74 win over the Sun on Tuesday night at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Breanna Stewart finished with a game-high 22 points, five rebounds and five blocks for Seattle, which improved to 4-1.

Jordin Canada, who made her second straight start in place of Sue Bird (bruised left knee), had 14 points and six assists. Sami Whitcomb added a season-high 12 points off the bench and Alysha Clark chipped in 13, including three three-pointers.

Seattle, which fell behind 19-16 after the first period and was down 40-38 at the break, trailed for most of the first half.

The Storm took control and pulled away while outscoring Connecticut 23-13 in the third period.

Down 51-49, Whitcomb drained a three-pointer to put Seattle up by one and start a 12-2 run. Canada ended the period with a couple of layups that gave the Storm a 61-53 lead at the end of the third.

Seattle continued to run away from Connecticut and began the fourth with a 16-6 spurt. Clark capped the run with a three-pointer for a 77-58 lead.

The Storm entered the game outscoring opponents 19.8 points to 16.5 in the fourth while the Sun had been outscored 20 to 14.5 points.

Jones, who tied her career-high scoring with 18 points in the first half, scored just two points the rest of the way and finished with 20.

Connecticut (0-5) also received 15 points from Alyssa Thomas.

NOTES:

— Storm reserve guard Epiphanny Prince left the WNBA’s bubble for personal reasons and the team is unsure when she’ll return, coach Gary Kloppenburg said.

Prince, an 11-year veteran who is in her first season with the Storm, has averaged 3.0 points in 11.3 minutes per game.

— WNBA players wore black t-shirts that read “Vote Warnock” to games on Tuesday to support Rev. Raphael Warnock, who is challenging Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) for her Senate seat.

It was a visual rebuke of Loeffler, who objected to the league’s support of the Black Lives Matter and #SayHerName movements and advocated for players to add the American flag to their jerseys.

This season, players are wearing Breonna Taylor’s name on their jerseys to bring awareness to the 26-year-old emergency medical technician who was killed in her home by Louisville police on March 13.

Bird, who is the WNBA Players Association vice president, came up with the idea to oppose Loeffler with t-shirts.

“This was a situation where given what was said in regards to the owner of Atlanta, and how, basically, she came out against a lot of what the women in our league stand for, I think was emotionally tough for a lot of the women in our league to hear that,” Bird told ESPN. “But very quickly we started to realize that this was only happening for her political gain. This was something that she wanted. And the more noise we made, whether it was a tweet saying to get her out, that was just playing into her hands.

“I’m not some political strategist, but what I do know is that voting is important. And I think our league has always encouraged people to use their voices and to get out and vote.

“So, what a great way for us to get the word out about this man, and hopefully put him in Senate. And, if he’s in Senate, you know who’s not. And I’ll just leave it at that.”