Melbourne stuns in Seattle wins

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JADE Melbourne and the Seattle Storm have finally got their first few wins on the board for the 2023 WNBA season.

Since her debut against the Las Vegas Aces, the Traralgon local has played in all but one game, playing in all three wins throughout the Storm’s season.

Her debut match against the Las Vegas Aces resulted in a 41-point loss, then she faced the New York Liberty – going down by eight points. They got close against the Sparks the first time round – losing by seven points.

In those three losses, Melbourne averaged 14 minutes on the court, with 5.3 points per game, 2.3 rebounds per game and two assists per game.

Returning back to Seattle, the Storm knew they could get close to the Sparks after a decent showing in Los Angeles.

Melbourne was in the mix again, following the best game of her career, stat-wise, so far.

Against the Sparks in LA, Melbourne played 21 minutes off the bench, scoring double-digit points for the first time in the WNBA, with five boards and two assists.

Back in Seattle, the Storm started terribly, only managing six points in the opening quarter, allowing the Sparks to quadruple their score, going up by 18 points at the end of the first quarter.

The second term was much more in their favour, as the Storm piled on 29 points to 14, cutting the deficit back to three points at the half.

The Storm hit the front in the third quarter, outscoring the Sparks by seven points to take a four-point lead with a quarter to play.

Weirdly enough, the Storm only had six scorers throughout the game, leaving four players with no points.

Melbourne was unfortunately one of those four with no points, but contributed off the glass with three rebounds.

The final quarter was the closest one yet, Sparks scoring 15 points to 14, not enough to regain the lead, leaving the Storm as winners, 66-63.

Melbourne and the Storm have claimed two more wins since their first; a 14-point win over the Phoenix Mercury and a six-point win over the Dallas Wings.

Against the Mercury, Melbourne played 14 minutes, scoring four points and providing two assists off the bench, as a free-flowing first half gave Seattle a buffer.

While against the Wings, Melbourne managed eight minutes and recorded a rebound in the tight win.

From her nine WNBA games so far, Melbourne has averaged 13.7 minutes per game, 2.9 points per game, 1.9 rebounds per game and 1.6 assists per game, decent for a player coming from the bench.