Lauren Jackson Named Western Conference Player of the Week

July 7, 2008
- The Seattle Storm's Lauren Jackson and Shameka Christon of the New York Liberty were named the WNBA Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, June 30 through Sunday, July 6.

Jackson earns her first Player of the Week award this season - her 13th career award - on the heels of her two best games to date in 2008. Over the course of the week, she led the WNBA in scoring, averaging 33.5 points on 64.3 percent (27-42) shooting from the floor and 90.0 percent (9-10) shooting from the free-throw line. With two wins over New York and Minnesota, Jackson helped the Storm distance themselves from the four teams competing for the fourth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

The two-time WNBA MVP had nearly identical games on July 3 and 5 against New York and Minnesota, respectively. In facing the Liberty, Jackson tallied 33 points and seven rebounds. She followed that game with a 34-point, seven-rebound performance two nights later as the Lynx visited Key Arena. Her 34 points marked her highest scoring output since July 24, 2007, when she tied Diana Taurasi's WNBA single-game scoring record by putting in 47 points in an overtime loss at Washington.

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Currently, Jackson is averaging 20.5 points per game - a point higher than her career average (19.4 ppg) - as well as 7.0 rebounds. She ranks third in the league in scoring, 14th in rebounding and seventh in blocks. Jackson is a six-time WNBA All-Star, a former WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and was a key member of Seattle's WNBA championship team in 2004.

Christon receives her first-career Player of the Week award after leading the Liberty to two victories in three games during their recent West Coast swing. She averaged 24.0 points per game, which ranked third in the league, 3.0 rebounds per game and 1.7 assists per game. For the week, she shot 53.3 percent (24-45) on field goals and 65.2 percent (15-23) from behind the three-point line to lead the Liberty into a tie with Indiana for third place in the Eastern Conference.

In a matinee game on July 1 at Los Angeles, Christon led the Liberty back an 11 point deficit to begin the fourth quarter to secure the road victory against the then-Western Conference-leading Sparks. The fifth-year pro finished the game with 28 points to set a career high. After pouring in 19 points on July 3 at Seattle, she nearly equaled that career-best with 25 points on 10-15 shooting in a Liberty loss at Phoenix.

Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Atlanta's Ivory Latta, Connecticut's Lindsay Whalen, Indiana's Tammy Sutton-Brown, Sacramento's Ticha Penicheiro and San Antonio's Sophia Young.