By Chris Bernucca

May 22, 2008: Scoreboard | Video Play of the Day | Photo Gallery | Today in the WNBA Archive

I must be in the front row! NBA stars and Chicago natives Quentin Richardson and Dwyane Wade sat courtside Thursday, watching the Sky defeat the Monarchs.
Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images
In the Second Half, the Storm are Second to None

Another Huge Comeback, This One Against the Champs: The WNBA season is less than a week old, but already a strong trend is developing in Seattle, where the Storm are making a habit of erasing first-half deficits. In each of its first two games, Seattle climbed out of halftime holes to win, outscoring foes by a combined 88-54 in the second half. On Thursday, the Storm traveled to Phoenix to face the defending champion Mercury, who eliminated Seattle in the first round of the 2007 postseason. Seattle had another of its customary slow starts and trailed, 50-29, late in the first half. But the Storm did it again, outscoring the Mercury, 50-31, after halftime for an 87-83 victory. Having struggled all game from the field, Sue Bird made a jumper to give Seattle an 82-81 lead with 32 seconds left, and Seattle made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 22 seconds to improve to 3-0 for the first time in franchise history.

Championship Hangover in Phoenix: Should there be cause for concern with the play of the Mercury? Thursday's home loss to Seattle dropped the defending champions to 0-3, including 0-2 at home. To be fair, all three losses have come to quality teams - a season-opening setback to the Los Angeles Sparks and their twin-tower tandem of Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker and losses to 2007 playoff squads San Antonio and Phoenix. The Mercury also are adjusting to life without Penny Taylor, who will not suit up until after the Summer Olympics, and a new coach in Corey Gaines, who has replaced Paul Westhead. It should be pointed out that Phoenix scuffled to an 11-9 start a year ago before winning 12 of its last 14 games to peak at the perfect time. But right now, Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter and crew are at the bottom of the league standings.
"This is an intelligent group. The tape doesn't lie. They saw what we looked like, and we went after it for three days. You saw the fruits of that effort."

-- Liberty coach Pat Coyle, after watching her team bounce back from a season-opening loss with a convincing home win over the Washington Mystics on Thursday.

Candice Dupree, Sky
22 pts, 6-6 FG, 10-11 FT
87-77 win vs. Monarchs

Armintie Price, Sky
22 pts, 4-4 FT
87-77 win vs. Monarchs

Lauren Jackson, Storm
30 pts, 10-19 FG, 2-5 3-pt FG, 8-8 FT
87-83 win at Mercury

Monique Currie, Mystics
0-6 FG, 0-2 3-pt FG, 2-4 FT, 2 pts
79-60 loss at Liberty

Nikki Blue, Mystics
0-5 FG, 0-1 3-pt FG, 2 pts
79-60 loss at Liberty

Yolanda Griffith, Storm
2-6 FG, 1-8 FT, 5 pts
87-83 win at Mercury

Friday's Game ...

  • Shock at Dream, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV)
  • Feenstra

    Chicago Sky center Sylvia Fowles did not make the same WNBA splash as Candace Parker. In a loss at Seattle over the weekend, the second overall pick behind Parker had six points and seven rebounds before fouling out, playing just 15 minutes. Making her home debut Thursday with the added showcase of NBA TV, Fowles was much more consistent. She avoided foul trouble, playing 27 minutes and contributing 11 points and seven rebounds in a win over Sacramento. More important, the 6-6 Fowles registered four blocks for the second straight game and is the early league leader in that category.
    After spending her first eight seasons with the same franchise, Washington Mystics center Taj McWilliams-Franklin is on her third team in as many years. It's hard to understand why a player as consistent as her has bounced around, especially when she puts up numbers like she did Thursday. In a loss at New York, TMF was virtually unstoppable, scoring 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting and sweeping 12 boards, nine on the offensive end. She also made all four free throws and added a steal. Unfortunately, McWilliams-Franklin did not get much help from her teammates, who shot a combined 11-of-42 for 34 points, 20 of them from Alana Beard.