2004 WNBA Playoffs: Round 1, Game 2
Monday, Sept. 27, 2004
Storm 64, Lynx 54
Seattle wins 2-0
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Seattle completed a 2-0 sweep of its WNBA Playoff series vs. Minnesota with tonight's 10-point decision, advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. The Lynx suffer a first-round elimination for the second straight year, having fallen to Los Angeles in three games last summer. Minnesota's all-time postseason record dips to 1-4, while the Storm draw even at 2-2 with their first-ever home playoff win. Seattle will face the winner of Tuesday's Game 3 between Los Angeles and Sacramento on Friday night.
Neither team led by more than five points through the game's first 35 minutes, with eight ties and seven lead changes during that stretch. Trailing 48-45 with 9:45 remaining, however, Seattle outscored the Lynx 14-1 over the next seven minutes to gain control. Minnesota went 0-for-10 from the floor and committed three turnovers during the game-deciding drought, which was capped by a 5-for-6 shooting binge by the Storm.
For the second consecutive game, Seattle lost the services of a starting guard due to a first-half injury. Betty Lennox sat out the final 20 minutes in Game 1 after sustaining a mild concussion, while Sue Bird left tonight's contest with 17:37 remaining in the first half due to a broken nose suffered in a collision with Teresa Edwards. Bird did not return, and her status for Friday's game will be evaluated later in the week.
Seattle's bench, coming off a 23-11 scoring advantage in Game 1, outscored the Lynx' reserves by a 27-16 spread this evening. Tully Bevilaqua, Janell Burse and Alicia Thompson combined for 20 of those points (on 9-for-10 shooting) in the second half alone; the Storm starters hit just 6-for-20 after intermission. In three regular-season meetings vs. Seattle, Minnesota racked up a 64-30 edge in bench scoring, including 29-8 on May 20 at KeyArena.
The Lynx were forced into 20 turnovers for the second straight game; half of those were committed by their point guards (Helen Darling six, Amber Jacobs four). Meanwhile, Seattle coughed it up just 13 times, on the heels of a 14-turnover effort in Game 1. For the series, Minnesota had 13 more miscues than the Storm, helping Seattle put together a 125-100 advantage in total field goal attempts and a 24-11 edge in steals. Overall, the Storm hit 44.0% in the two games, compared to Minnesota's 42.0% performance.
Svetlana Abrosimova scored all 14 of her points in the second half for Minnesota, while Nicole Ohlde followed up her 17-point debut in Game 1 by adding 11 tonight. Tamika Williams chipped in eight points and led the Lynx with nine rebounds and four assists; Ohlde and Williams combined to provide 15 of Minnesota's 27 assists in the series. Including Abrosimova, the starting frontcourt trio scored 64 percent of the Lynx' points (72 of 112).
Lauren Jackson again led Seattle in scoring with 18 points, while Thompson (10) was the only other Storm player to reach double figures. During the regular season, Thompson had tallied just 2.3 ppg, with a single-game high of nine points (Sept. 12 at Connecticut). For the series, Jackson averaged 16.0 ppg (54.5%), followed by Sheri Sam at 9.0 ppg and Thompson at 8.0 ppg. Sam topped the Storm in both rebounds (5.5 rpg) and assists (6.0 apg).