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Hammons Big Fourth Lifts Stars Past Storm

San Antonio 92, Seattle 88

SEATTLE, July 29 (AP) -- Becky Hammon scored 11 of her 30 points in the fourth quarter to give the San Antonio Silver Stars a 92-88 win over the Seattle Storm Sunday night.

The victory puts San Antonio (16-8) alone atop the Western Conference. Seattle (13-13) remained in fourth place, four games ahead of Los Angeles for the final playoff berth.

Lauren Jackson, a leading MVP contender along with Hammon, scored 29 points to lead the Storm, and Sue Bird added 17 points and five assists.

Hammon made four free throws in the final 1:17 to break an 86-86 tie. Seattle had two turnovers in the final 35 seconds.

San Antonio, which swept the four-game season series against Seattle, led by eight early in the fourth quarter, but couldn't shake the Storm. Jackson scored on a drive that tied it at 83 with 2:58 left.

The hectic pace continued as Hammon hit a 3-pointer to put the Silver Stars ahead by three before Bird tied it at 86 with a 3.

Jackson had nine points apiece in the third quarter as the game remained tight. Bird scored a three-point play to put the Storm up 69-66 before Shanna Crossley scored the final five points of the quarter to give the Silver Stars a 71-69 lead.

Both teams led by as many as seven points in the second quarter. Jackson scored 13 in the quarter after going scoreless in the first quarter.

Seattle's Betty Lennox swished a 42-footer just before the first-half buzzer to cut San Antonio's lead to 43-42. The Silver Stars led 41-34 after the Storm had taken a 29-22 lead early in the second quarter.

San Antonio held Jackson to 17 points per game in the first three meetings.

The Silver Stars have the league's second best road record at 10-4. Seattle is 8-4 at home.