Jackson helps Storm shut down Lynx, 88-71

MINNEAPOLIS(AP) The Seattle Storm had a simple plan Friday night: Keep the Minnesota Lynx from getting going offensively.

With Seattle's Swin Cash limiting Seimone Augustus to only 15 points and the Storm players taking away the fastbreak from the Lynx, Seattle cruised to an 88-71 victory and handed Minnesota its first loss of the season.

While Lauren Jackson had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Tanisha Wright added 17 points, the Storm (3-1) won this game by shutting down the WNBA's highest scoring offense.

"They've proven they can score and they do a good job in transition,'' said Seattle guard Sue Bird, who had 15 points and nine assists. "Early on, we sent three, four players back at time. We didn't want them to get off to a good start in transition, especially on their home court because that can really energize a team.''

Forced to play a half-court game, a Minnesota team that entered the game averaging a league-best 95.0 points couldn't get going. The Lynx opened the game shooting 3 for 18 over the first 14 minutes and shot only 44 percent for the game.

Cash and Wright, who guarded Candace Wiggins, had a lot to do with it.

"She's an unbelievable offensive player,'' Cash said of Augustus. "She's got weapons inside and out. I just wanted to make it difficult for her to get touches.''

It worked. Augustus, who entered the game averaging 24.0 points, didn't score a field goal until less than three minutes remained in the first half. Eight of Augustus' points came in the final minutes.

"We had great focus and Swin did exactly what we wanted her to do,'' Seattle coach Brian Agler said.

Without production from Augustus, the Lynx never got into an offensive rhythm. Seattle led 42-30 at halftime and stretched the margin to 14 entering the fourth. Minnesota's 13 for 24 performance from the free throw line didn't help.

"I think that with the three wins, this is a young team that thinks we can beat everybody,'' said Minnesota coach Jennifer Gillom, who will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday. "Reality set in. I knew it may come, but I didn't think it would come this early.

"I just think that we didn't communicate well defensively. I also think we didn't execute very well offensively.''

The Lynx pulled within six early in the final period, but that was as close as they got. The Storm used an 8-2 run to push its lead to 79-64 on Bird's 3-pointer with 5:34 to play.

Charde Houston scored 18 points to lead Minnesota (3-1) and rookie Renee Montgomery added 10. Wiggins finished with seven points, nearly nine points below her average.

Minnesota also didn't have an answer for Jackson, who recorded her first double-double of the season. Along with scoring inside, the 6-5 Jackson also made three three-pointers.

"I'm just real happy with our team,'' Agler said. "We took another step forward tonight. We're not playing as well as I think we can play, but I think we're moving in the right direction.''

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