The Seattle Storm fought for 40 minutes, but was never able to make up an early deficit in a 70-63 loss in Wednesday's Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinal series with the Los Angeles Sparks. The Storm was unable to get anything going in the first quarter, committing seven turnovers and going nearly the full 10 minutes without a field goal. Down 16 at the end of the period, the Storm got things going thereafter. Nine second-quarter points from Suzy Batkovic-Brown got the Storm within six at halftime. But the closest the Storm would get was a three-point deficit early in the fourth quarter. A 7-0 Sparks surge midway through the period sealed the Storm's fate.
The Storm was able to hang close by holding L.A. to 35.7 percent shooting from the field. None of the Sparks stars went off, with Tina Thompson leading the team with 16 points, but Los Angeles benefited from 25 free throws in 30 attempts.
At the other end, the Storm got plenty of timely scores from forward Swin Cash, who scored a game-high 24 points and was 8-of-9 from the free throw line. Batkovic-Brown tied her highest-scoring game in a Storm uniform, putting up 16 points and grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. She made six of her eight shot attempts. Guard Tanisha Wright, who scored 13, was the only other Storm player to reach double-figures. In particular, L.A. shut down Sue Bird, who finished with four points on 1-of-9 shooting and handed out five assists.
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"I think Sue’s healthy but she hasn’t played for two weeks. It’s all about getting back in that rhythm. I felt like she didn’t feel comfortable with her shot, she passed some up. That’s usually a good sign, but she’s our best shooter, so she’s got to take those shots."
- Brian Agler Complete Quotes/Notes
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
Janell Burse defends Lisa Leslie.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Storm vs. Los Angeles (Game 2 - Sparks lead 1-0)
Friday, Sept. 18, 7:00 p.m.
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