, then celebrated by setting the WNBA's single-season points record on Sunday in the team's final game of the season. Loyd put up 28 points in a defeat to the Los Angeles Sparks, to finish the season with 939 total points.
"It's kind of how I say thank you to my trainers back home, my teammates, everybody who kind of supported me on this journey because it wasn't easy to do what I was doing," Loyd said of the record. "Quite frankly, no one else was doing it, so it's pretty cool. Maybe I'll feel more about it after, but right now, I think it's me being proud of everybody around me and saying thank you to them."
Entering the season, the record was held by Phoenix Mercury legend Diana Taurasi, who poured in 860 points in 2006, when she also set the league's single-season scoring average record of 25.3 points per game. It's important to note that Taurasi accomplished both feats in just 33 games, as the season's back then were only 34 games long.
Once the league decided to expand the season to a record 40 games this season, it was always likely that players were going to break her record, along with numerous other total records. In fact, three players ended up surpassing Taurasi this season, with A'ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart accomplishing the feat as well. Stewart was the first to overtake Taurasi, but her scoring slowed down in the final two games of the season, and she ended up second on the all-time list.
While Loyd was not able to catch Taurasi for the single-season scoring average record, she did finish at 24.7 points per game to win her first scoring title. That mark is also second all time, and makes just the second player to average 24 points per game for an entire season. (Taurasi did so twice, putting up 24.1 points per game in 2008.)
Loyd was an offense unto herself this season, as she carried a remarkable load following the departures of both Sue Bird (retirement) and Stewart (signed with the Liberty in free agency) in the winter. So while she took over 20 shots per game and shot just 37% from the field, that was a necessary approach to give the Storm any chance of winning.
"I think the beauty of it is that it never came in a selfish way," Loyd said. "I think the shots I was taking were good shots. I wasn't hunting for anything. I was told what I was doing is not normal. I was told what I was doing has never been done before.
"I will look back at the season and really embrace that and see what I was actually doing because sometimes you don't know when you're in the room. You're just out there playing."