Today in the WNBA: September 14, 2008

By Noel Pangilinan

Sept. 14, 2008: Scoreboard | Video Play of the Day | Today in the WNBA Archive

PHOTO OF THE DAY
Height is might in basketball, and there are more than 19 feet of basketball might in this bit of action. Houstonís Twin Towers of Michelle Snow (6-5) and Tina Thompson (6-2) were too much for the rookie Sylvia Fowles (6-6) and Chicago as the Comets brought down the Sky on Sunday.
Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images
Statement Game From the Sparks

Los Angeles Storms Past Seattle: It was a no-bearing game alright, with both the Sparks and the Storm having clinched playoff spots in the Western Conference. The Storm played not wanting to add anymore names onto their injury list and the Sparks went on an experiment mode early, trying out various combinations in preparation for their first-round date with the Storm. And there's the story there. Los Angeles and Seattle will face off in a best-of-three playoff series starting Friday, with the Sparks earning a psychological advantage as a result of their impressive 65-48 victory over the Storm Sunday. Candace Parker set the tone by scoring seven of her nine points in the first five minutes of the game as the Sparks took command of the game right from the tipoff. Parker ended up playing less than 10 minutes and Lisa Leslie was on the court for less than seven minutes. Sue Bird and Yolanda Griffith both played for just three minutes for Seattle, which already lost starters Lauren Jackson, Sheryl Swoopes and Swin Cash to injuries. Marie Ferdinand-Harris scored 14 points for the Sparks, while Shyra Ely posted a game-high 16 points for the Storm.

ALSO MAKING HEADLINES ...
Comets Hold Down Sky: No-bearing games by non-playoff teams are not necessarily boring. In fact, of the five games on Sunday, the matchup between the Houston Comets and the Chicago Sky, both eliminated from post-season play, was the most exciting. The Comets defeated the Sky, 79-76, after veteran Tina Thompson coolly sank two free throws with 2.4 seconds left to give Houston a comfortable three-point cushion. The young Chicago team had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Chasity Melvin missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer. And with that, the Chicago Sky ended their season with a 12-22 record. Thompson led Houston, which plays its final game of the season on Monday, with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Candice Dupree scored 20 points for Chicago.
Thompson
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
"I believe we're the best team in the league. We just have to show it. One of our Achilles' heels has been playing up to our opponents' level. Seattle plays at a very high level and we know we have to match that.''

-- Los Angeles coach Michael Cooper after the Sparks routed the Storm on Sunday in a preview of a WNBA first-round matchup.
Cooper

WHO'S HOT
Tamika Catchings, Fever
18 pts, 3-5 FG, 2-2 3-pt FG, 10-10 FT
103-89 win at Mercury

Charde Houston, Lynx
18 pts, 7-8 FG, 4-5 FT
96-70 win vs. Mystics

DeLisha Milton-Jones, Sparks
12 pts, 6-8 FG
65-48 win at Storm

Catchings
WHO'S NOT
Alexis Hornbuckle, Shock
0-7 FG, 0-2 3-pt FG, 0 pts
61-59 win at Liberty

Essence Carson, Liberty
0-5 FG, 0-2 3-pt FG, 0 pts
96-87 loss vs. Mercury

Matee Ajavon, Comets
0-4 FG, 0 pts
79-76 win at Sky

Hornbuckle
WHO'S ON TAP
Monday's Game ...

  • Sacramento at Houston, 8 ET
  • Lawson

    Pondexter
    FILLING THE BOX SCORE
    The Phoenix Mercury may be out of the playoffs, but Cappie Pondexter continues to shoot the lights out game after game. She has scored 23 points in each of her last three games: an 89-78 loss to the Shock on Sept. 9; a 96-87 win over Minnesota on Sept. 12, and a 103-89 loss to the Fever on Sunday. The 5-9 guard from Rutgers is second in the league in scoring with 21.2 ppg, eclipsed only by teammate Diana Taurasi who leads the WNBA with 24.3 points. With arguably the best backcourt combination in the league right now, expect Phoenix to rise from the ashes next season.
    ROOKIE WATCH
    She did not play much but her 10-minute stint on the court on Sunday was enough for her to make an impact. Candace Parker scored seven points in the first five minutes to help the Sparks race to a double-digit lead in the first quarter en route to beating the Storm on Sunday. And with that, her job was done. What makes this Parker-watching preoccupation exciting is that the 6-4 forward from the University of Tennessee is on the verge of making history. She has a chance to become the first ever WNBA player to win the Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player awards in the same year. She also has her sights set on winning basketball's equivalent of a grandslam: an NCAA crown, an Olympic gold medal and a WNBA championship all in the same year.
    Parker
    More Ľ

    Video

    Postgame: Chicago Sky

    Sky head coach Pokey Chatman and Sylvia Fowles talk postgame following Chicago's double overtime win over the Fever.

    Fever vs. Sky - Game 2

    Sylvia Fowles scores 27 points and the Chicago Sky beat the Indiana Fever 86-84 in two overtimes to even the best-of-three Eastern Conference finals on Monday.

    Postgame: Indiana Fever

    Fever head coach Lin Dunn and Tamika Catchings talk postgame after Indiana falls to the Chicago Sky in Game 2 in double overtime.

    Catchings in the Clutch

    Tamika Catchings nails the clutch jumper to put the Fever up by two late in regulation.

    Young Forces OT

    Tamera Young makes the offensive rebound and puts it up and in to send the game into overtime.