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Clark's Game-Winner lifts Storm past L.A.

May 12, 2013

Alysha Clark hit a jump shot off an assist by Samantha MacKay with 4.6 seconds left on Sunday afternoon, lifting the Seattle Storm past the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA preseason opener for both teams, 67-66.

Clark’s game-winner capped a wild fourth quarter in The Pyramid at Long Beach State University. The game was tied three times and the lead changed hands seven times during the final 10 minutes.

Clark finished with seven points. Tina Thompson and first-round draft choice Tianna Hawkins led Seattle with eight points apiece and while no one was in double figures, all 14 players who saw action for the Storm got onto the board.

After leading by nine at the outset of the third quarter, Seattle was down 56-55 entering the fourth. Los Angeles had a 66-63 edge with 1:03 left after Tiffany Clarke made the second of two free throws on a shooting foul.

The Storm cut it to 66-65 on a layin by Hawkins with 53.4 seconds to go. Hawkins then helped create the opportunity for the winning shot when she stole a bad pass from L.A.’s Paola Ferrari at the 14.5-second mark. Seattle called timeout with 6.5 seconds on the clock to set up the play.

The Storm was down by eight at the end of the first quarter, 19-11, but went on a 29-11 scoring tear during the second to take a 40-33 lead at the break. Thompson drained a pair of three-pointers and Temeka Johnson also had a trey to fuel the scoring burst..

A layin by third-round draft choice Jasmine James pushed Seattle’s lead to 42-33 to open the third quarter. But the Storm then went without a point for nearly four minutes, missing three shots from the field, two from the free throw line and committing seven turnovers as Los Angeles went on a 10-0 run to take a 43-42 edge.

Ebony Hoffman led the Sparks with eight points.

Seattle shot 40% for the game (24 of 60), including 44% (4 of 9) from downtown. The Storm also was solid at the free throw line, hitting 79% (15 of 19).

The Sparks hit just 36% from the floor (23 of 64) and was frigid from behind the three-point arc at just 15% (3 of 20).

Noelle Quinn pulled down a team-high seven rebounds for Seattle to go along with six points.

The Storm concludes its preseason schedule on Friday night at 7 p.m. in KeyArena against the Tulsa Shock and highly-regarded rookie Skylar Diggins. Get your tickets.

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