Storm forward Breanna Stewart, a reserve for the West, finished with nine points, six assists and six rebounds. Bird added eight points with her record number of dimes.
Before Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game, Maya Moore, a five-time participant, fielded a slew of questions from the eight first-timers on the Eastern Conference team about how hard they should play in the midseason exhibition.
The Minnesota Lynx star told them the level of intensity is “somewhere in between shootaround and the regular season. That’s the lane.”
“That was the wisdom that I dropped,” Moore said after draining 23 points, including five three-pointers, to lead the West to a 130-121 victory on Saturday.
“It was fun,” said Moore, who claimed her second straight MVP trophy. “I thought it was a great pace. You never want anyone to get hurt, but you also want to play with a certain intensity and show off your athleticism and we did that.”
The star power in the stands, which included Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Lenny Wilkens, Sonics greats Fred Brown and Gus Williams, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas and U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe, nearly eclipsed the performance on the floor.
However, the WNBA stars delivered a satisfying spectacle that included an ample amount of highlights and limited doses of defense in front of 15,221 at KeyArena.
There was a deluge of three-pointers — 25 to be exact — the most combined points in All-Star history and a breakout performance from Jonquel Jones.
Making her first All-Star appearance, the Connecticut Sun center scored a game-high 24 points and provided the highlight of the day — a breakaway dunk in the final seconds.
“I just wanted to go out, have fun, be safe, but still play hard,” Jones said. “So it was great to be able to go out there and play against some players that I’ve watched growing up and looking up to. Now I’m on the same court as them.”
Few knew what to expect from a youthful East team that included just three All-Star returners and led by Connecticut coach Curt Miller, who was making his All-Star debut.
“I certainly had no clue, but they were hanging with us in that first half and maybe surprised us a little bit with how they got up and down the floor,” said Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi, who finished with 12 points and five assists. “But you can’t sleep on us old vets. We know how to play this game.”
The star-studded and…