The Storm moved to 3-0 on the young season by pulling out a thriller in overtime Saturday in Phoenix, 95-89. The Storm started quickly and led much of the way. A 6-0 run pushed the team's lead to 11 points with four minutes left to play, seemingly putting things out of reach. But the Storm would not score again in regulation, and the Mercury tied it after Brian Agler was called for a technical foul with 23 seconds left to play. Both teams missed chances to win in the closing seconds.
So it was back to overtime for the Storm, which played six OT games in 2009, including two against Phoenix. The Mercury opened up an 87-84 lead, its first since the opening minutes, before the Storm stiffened on defense. Phoenix would go the final 3:47 without a field goal, while Swin Cash came up with a timely bucket and two free throws to help the Storm extend its lead and ultimately put the game away.
All 11 Storm players saw action as Agler opened up his rotation, and all five starters as well as reserves Svetlana Abrosimova and Le'coe Willingham scored at least seven points. Lauren Jackson led the way with 25 points and eight rebounds, and it was also a team effort on the glass. Tanisha Wright's nine boards were a career high, and Sue Bird tied her best effort with eight, adding eight assists and nine points to flirt with a triple-double. The Storm corralled 18 offensive rebounds and forced 24 turnovers.
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"In a way we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit in regulation. At the same time we had a chance in overtime and that’s what we talked about. Heading into overtime we talked about letting go what happened in the first 40 minutes and just play that five."
- Sue Bird Complete Quotes/Notes
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
Lauren Jackson boxes out Tangela Smith.
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