Storm Pull Away From Visiting Lynx

Seattle 81, Minnesota 67

SEATTLE, Aug. 14 (AP) -- Lauren Jackson had 18 points and nine rebounds, and the Seattle Storm pulled away from Minnesota in the fourth quarter and beat the Lynx 81-67 Tuesday night.

Iziane Castro Marques added 17 points, Betty Lennox had 15 and Wendy Palmer 13 for Seattle (16-17).

The Storm, who already have clinched the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs, had an 11-4 run to start the fourth quarter that increased their lead to 61-51. The Lynx never got closer than six the rest of the way.

"Regardless of the way we won the game, we still won,'' Jackson said. "It's good to know we can win games where we play so terribly - especially against Minnesota, since we lost to them a week ago.''

Lennox, coming off a career-high 34 points last Saturday against Washington, gave the Storm a 74-61 lead with a three-point play with 1:55 left.

"It was one of those games where it wasn't a pretty game for us, but again, I liked that test,'' said Storm coach Anne Donovan, whose team was blown out 95-74 last week at Minnesota when Jackson was absent. "We haven't always passed that test.''

Seimone Augustus scored 16 of her 28 points in the first half for the Lynx (8-24). Nicole Ohlde added 18 points and eight rebounds, and Svetlana Abrosimova had 13 points.

"I just tried to be aggressive against them,'' said Minnesota's Augustus. "I felt like we were doing a good job most of the game. But at the end, we just didn't have enough.''

The Storm had built a 38-26 lead with 3 minutes remaining in the first half. However, Augustus had seven points during the Lynx's 11-2 run to close the half and pull within three at the break.

On a night when the Storm struggled to get into the flow offensively - they had 20 turnovers, leading to 26 Minnesota points, they were solid defensively, limiting the Lynx to 37 percent shooting. They forced 18 Minnesota turnovers that accounted for 15 Seattle points.

"When you play a great team like Seattle, you have to play hard or you don't have a chance,'' Minnesota coach Don Zierden said.