By Dan Savage

Sept. 12, 2008: Scoreboard | Video Play of the Day | Today in the WNBA Archive

While it’s unlikely that Lindsey Harding will find herself in the White House anytime soon, she did reward some her biggest supporters on Fan Appreciation night by scorching the Mercury for a team-high 20 points on Friday. Unfortunately, Minnesota couldn’t earn them a win.
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Liberty Setting the Tone for Playoffs

New York Edges Chicago: The Liberty know all about bringing home hard-earned victories. After all, they have been doing at all season. And in Chicago, New York demonstrated once again why it will be an extremely difficult postseason opponent. Despite missing Janel McCarville – known to come up huge in the clutch – New York had no problem breaking the Sky’s heart in the final moments on Friday. After Chicago went on an electric 10-2 run, capped by a Jia Perkins’ free throw to put it up by two with just 1:11 to play, the Liberty looked as if they had run out of gas in a game that didn’t mean all that much to their playoff status. But once again New York displayed that it’s just not in its genetic makeup to lose a close contest. Erlana Larkins stormed down the court and answered right back to knot the game and Shameka Christon drilled a trey with 23.2 seconds left to put the Liberty up for good. “That was playoff-atmosphere basketball,” coach Pat Coyle said. “We want to get rolling and I thought that was a good start.” If the regular season has been any kind of indication for the postseason, expect No. 2 seed Connecticut to have its hands full with N.Y.

Seattle Unstoppable at Home: If you talk to any coach the WNBA or in any professional sports league, they’ll tell you the first recipe to success is winning your games at home. Clearly, the Storm have followed those instructions to the letter. Camille Little erupted for a career-high 21 points and Katie Gearlds added 20 as Seattle took down Atlanta to improve to 16-1 at KeyArena, matching the most wins ever at home by a WNBA team. (The Sparks went 16-0 in 2001 when the schedule was only 32 games.) Surprisingly the Storm did it on Friday without Sue Bird (rest) and Lauren Jackson, who is still continuing to recover from ankle surgery. It marked the first time since Aug. 14, 2001 that Seattle had neither of its stars in the lineup.
"It’s always emotional coming back to a place that you’ve been for a long time and have had major support. I really appreciate the fans and their loyal support and what they’ve done for me. I thank them for that and they’ll always be a special part of me.''

-- Atlanta guard Betty Lennox after returning to Seattle on Friday for the first time since being selected by the Dream in the expansion draft.

Shameka Christon, Liberty
27 pts, 10-18 FG, 5-9 3-pt FG, 2-2 FT
69-62 win at Sky

Camille Little, Storm
21 pts, 8-14 FG, 4-4 FT
77-72 win vs. Dream

Le'coe Willingham, Mercury
15 pts, 6-12 FG
96-87 win at Lynx

Loree Moore, Liberty
0-6 FG, 0-5 3-pt FG, 0 pts
69-62 win at Sky

Navonda Moore, Lynx
3-11 FG, 0-2 3-pt FG, 8 pts
96-87 loss vs. Mercury

Iziane Castro Marques, Dream
3-15 FG, 10 pts
77-72 loss at Storm

Saturday's Games ...

  • Washington at Connecticut, 4 ET (NBA TV)
  • Sacramento at San Antonio, 8 ET
  • Jones

    If Phoenix would have started the season as good as it's ending it, there’s no doubt it would be making another title run rather than becoming the first WNBA team to miss the playoffs after winning the championship the previous year. Diana Taurasi continued her post Olympic break tear, exploding for 31 points and seven rebounds to power the Mercury past the Lynx on Friday. If Penny Taylor decides to return, after missing this season preparing for the Olympics and spending time with her family, Phoenix won’t be out of the playoffs for long.
    It wasn’t exactly the type of rookie campaign Tamera Young wanted. After becoming the first player from James Madison University to ever be selected in the WNBA Draft, Young was anxious to show her stuff against the top professionals in the game. And after firing off a career-high 26 points against the Shock on June 26, her expectations got even higher. But since early July, she’s failed crack double figures and was even held under four points for a six-game stretch. However, her fortunes turned around on Friday as she ignited for 20 points in the Dream’s loss to the Storm. While some fans in Atlanta may be down after watching their squad become the first team to record 30 losses in a season, they should be excited that their first-round pick has finally recaptured her groove.