Live From Press Row - Storm vs. San Antonio
Final: San Antonio 89, Storm 87
On the final play of the game, the Storm goes to a cold Betty Lennox, who had not played in the fourth quarter. Lennox got her trademark midrange pullup, but banked it too hard off glass. The rebound was tipped off to Iziane Castro Marques well beyond the 3-point line, but her desperation try bounced off the shot clock and might not have counted had it gone. The joyous Silver Stars, now 4-0 this season on the road, celebrate at center court.
While we have to give credit to San Antonio, which is off to an incredible start to this season, this is a really disappointing loss for the Storm because of their fundamental breakdown on the defensive glass. San Antonio finished with 18 offensive rebounds to the Storm's 17 defensive boards, scoring 21 second-chance points to the Storm's one. Wow. You have to wonder what Wendy Palmer would have done for that. The Storm will try to rebound Wednesday against Chicago - take advantage of the Storm's 15 for 15 offer to get some of the best seats in the house for $15!
Need a Score
Fourth Quarter: San Antonio 89, Storm 87
Down to 7.7 seconds remaining, the Storm needs a basket to tie. Offensive rebounds continue to plague the Storm; after a Lauren Jackson three-point play unbroken the tie, five straight San Antonio free throws - the last three off of Sophia Young offensive boards - have given San Antonio a two-point lead.
Fourth Quarter: Storm 84, San Antonio 84
With 5:35 left in this game, Anne Donovan made a calculated gamble. She took out forward Lauren Jackson to get her a rest for the final few minutes, replacing her with Tiffani Johnson. At the time, the score was 79-75 Storm, and it seemed as if the move would pay off when the Storm used seven straight points at the free-throw line to go up seven, 84-77, with 3:30 left. But a LaToya Thomas three-point play kicked off a 7-0 San Antonio run that has left us tied with 2:06 to play and Jackson finally returning to the game.
The Storm's lineup is the starters minus Betty Lennox and plus Shaun Gortman, who has played the entire fourth quarter. San Antonio has in a bizarre mismash group: Dalma Ivanyi and Vickie Johnson at guard, Agnieszka Bibrzycka and LaToya Thomas at forward with Sophia Young in the middle.
LJ is Hot
Fourth Quarter: Storm 75, San Antonio 73
Storm forward Lauren Jackson seems to have relocated the 3-point accuracy that made her so lethal during the 2004 season. Jackson came into tonight 5-for-8 from downtown this season, and she's nearly matched that output tonight, hitting 4-of-5 on 3s. That's more than she had in any game last season. Jackson had back-to-back 3s followed by an impressive rebound in traffic to spur an 8-0 run that has the Storm back out in front after falling behind by six points, their largest deficit of the evening. That's made "The Train" during this timeout considerably happier.
Silver Stars Take the Lead
End Third Quarter: San Antonio 69, Storm 65
The San Antonio Silver Stars took their first lead of the evening at the 1:09 mark of the third quarter. As we go to the final period, it's a four-point San Antonio advantage. Not only is Vickie Johnson back in the game, she is beginning to make her presence felt. Johnson had two buckets after returning to the game, including a runner just before the third-quarter buzzer.
The Storm finished the third quarter 1-for-7 from 3-point range and 7-for-17 from the field. Now San Antonio's rebounding advantage (28-13) has become the dominant aspect of this game.
Third Quarter: Storm 51, San Antonio 50
Kendra Wecker's transition 3-pointer a moment ago brought San Antonio within a point of the Storm, but of more concern was Silver Stars guard Vickie Johnson going down on the play. Johnson, who was holding her right thigh, was able to walk off without assistance, but she's been replaced in the game by Agnieszka Bibrzycka.
Silver Stars Run
Third Quarter: Storm 51, San Antonio 47
10-2 Silver Stars run has them within four points of the Storm, the closest they have been since early in this game. Kendra Wecker, who had just two points in the first half, has heated up, hitting a jumper off of a curl and a 3-pointer for San Antonio's last five points. The Storm has cooled off lately, with a couple of Sue Bird 3-point attempts rimming out.
Congrats to Leo on winning Doppler's Mini Races, featuring some R/C Mini Coopers. It was a little bit of a circuitous route for the red car, but it ended up well. Both of our contestants tonight were Doppler's Kids Club members. Remember that hyou can still join Doppler's Kids Club online.
Up Nine at the Half
Halftime: Storm 46, San Antonio 37
Forget six 3-pointers; the Seattle Storm heads into halftime with seven after Shaunzinski Gortman buried her second of the season with 1:23 left in the second quarter. The Storm holds a nine-point lead as the product of one of the most bizarre statistical halves you'll ever see. The Storm's True Shooting Percentage, which takes in all their shooting possessions (field-goal and free-throw attempts), was 71.9% in the first half, which is about as high as you're ever going to see for a team. San Antonio's, incidentally, was 43.0%.
So how are the Silver Stars still in this game? Rebounding. San Antonio finished with 13 offensive rebounds, one of their franchise record for a half, while the Storm had just one offensive board in the first 20 minutes of action (of course, it's that much harder to get offensive rebounds when you're making all your shots). So, despite four more turnovers, the Silver Stars got up 12 more field-goal attempts than the Storm. We'll see if the Storm can stay hot and improve on the glass after halftime.
Second Quarter: Storm 38, San Antonio 25
8-0 run by the Storm since that last timeout has opened this back up to a 13-point lead. The Storm is 6-for-8 from 3-point range thus far, which is incredible considering San Antonio had allowed a league-low 16 through five games, with opponents shooting just 25.4% from downtown. The most 3s the Silver Stars have allowed in a game this season is seven against Houston. The Storm could hit that by halftime.
Katie Feenstra has really struggled tonight. The 6-8 second-year center is 0-for-3 from the field with three turnovers and looks very frustrated. That's forcing the Silver Stars to go small with a frontline of 6-1 Sophia Young and 6-2 LaToya Thomas.
Silver Stars Make a Run
Second Quarter: Storm 30, San Antonio 25
8-2 run by San Antonio so far in the second quarter. The Silver Stars have clamped down defensively, holding the Storm without a field goal during this period. A pair of Janell Burse free throws ended the Storm drought with 6:30 left in the period. San Antonio is really destroying the Storm on the glass right now, coming up with 11 offensive rebounds to just eight defensive rebounds by the Storm. At the other end, the Storm does not have a single offensive board thus far.
Big Lead After One
End First Quarter: Storm 28, San Antonio 17
Sue Bird's runner just before the end of the first quarter gives the Storm 28 points and an 11-point advantage. It's the most points San Antonio has allowed in a quarter so far this season (and thus, by extension, in franchise history).
With Wendy Palmer out, Tiffani Johnson will be asked to step up tonight after falling out of the Storm's rotation because Anne Donovan prefers to play just three posts. Donovan praised Johnson's work in recent practices. With Lauren Jackson's minutes limited and Janell Burse picking up two early fouls, Johnson could be very important tonight.
Storm Scoring Points
First Quarter: Storm 23, San Antonio 12
Before the game, San Antonio Coach Dan Hughes told reporters he felt the Storm was the best offensive team his squad has played thus far this season - a group which also includes Houston and Sacramento. Presumably, nothing Hughes has seen so far has changed his mind. The Storm is 8-for-9 from the field and 4-for-4 from 3-point range for 23 points. Seattle is also on a 10-2 run, forcing Hughes to take a timeout with 2:14 left in the first quarter.
Izi Starts Strong
First Quarter: Storm 13, San Antonio 10
Nice aggressiveness in the early going from Storm forward Iziane Castro Marques, who hit 3-pointers on the Storm's first two possessions and also got to the free-throw line to put up seven of the Storm's 13 points thus far. Chantelle Anderson has six points, demonstrating more offense than we're used to, but I've really been impressed so far by Kendra Wecker. She's not a rookie, but she tore her ACL after just 11 minutes last season and is finally healthy. Wecker has put a couple of veteran moves on Betty Lennox already.
Appropriately for a Storm Summer Sunday, there's a large contingent of young Storm fans in the house - many of them as part of Girl Scouts Night. The scouts arrived early and were courtside during player warmups this afternoon. After finishing up with the media, Anne Donovan wandered over for an informal chat. First through Third Graders from Whittier Elementary performed tonight's National Anthem.
Palmer Out Tonight
The Storm will be without veteran forward Wendy Palmer tonight. Palmer, the team's fifth-leading scorer and co-leading rebounder, has been bothered off and on by soreness in her left Achilles. It's serious enough tonight that Palmer is wearing a boot on her left foot and is on the Inactive list.
"I think she tried to play through the game Friday - obviously got through the game pretty well," said Storm Coach Anne Donovan. "But she came in, we evaluated her yesterday, and she's supposed to see a specialist tomorrow."
Palmer's injury moves Storm newcomer Cisti Greenwalt on to the active roster for the first time, and she'll be the Storm's fourth post tonight.
"Cisti doesn't have reps or experience," Donovan said, "so I'm hoping that we don't have to go that deep that often, but certainly she'll be in uniform and we'll go to her if we have to."
The Seattle Storm looks for its first winning streak of the 2006 season tonight as the San Antonio Silver Stars are at KeyArena. Out to stop that is a Stars team that has won all three of its road games thus far this season and is the surprise team of the WNBA in the early going. In his second year at the helm of the Silver Stars, respected Coach Dan Hughes has his charges playing excellent defense and competing in the Western Conference.