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Originally published Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Storm Notebook | Jackson, Bird to appear in "Expect Great" TV spots

Storm co-captains Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson will be the next players featured in the WNBA's "Expect Great" commercials, which are receiving...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Player of the game: Storm veteran Sheryl Swoopes was timely with her buckets, keeping Diana Taurasi from leading her team to a win on her birthday. To spoil Taurasi's party, Swoopes finished with 17 points, including a three-pointer with 30.9 seconds left to pad Seattle's lead.

Digits: The Storm edged the Mercury in rebounding, 52-31, which also was a franchise record for Seattle.

Next: At San Antonio on Friday at 5 p.m., AT&T Center.

Storm co-captains Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson will be the next players featured in the WNBA's "Expect Great" commercials, which are receiving mixed reviews around the league.

The spots have a dose of sarcasm as players state why a typical male fan won't attend a game. When a close-up of the featured player fades to black, the words, "She wouldn't say that. Would you?" appear on the screen. The current spots featuring Los Angeles rookie guard Candace Parker, Indiana forward Tamika Catchings, and Detroit forward Cheryl Ford have aired during the NBA playoffs and WNBA games.

Jackson, the two-time MVP, said her spot is about how "tall girls can't shoot." The 6-foot, 5-inch forward led the league in scoring last season with 23.8 points-per-game and is shooting 45.8 percent from the field this season.

"I like Candace Parker's because you can tell the sarcasm," Jackson said of the commercial that features the Sparks guard deadpanning: "You couldn't pay me to watch women's basketball."

"But the first time I heard it ... I actually thought somebody was mocking us. So, I wasn't too keen on them. But I've done one now and can't be a hypocrite, so I really like them."

Bird's topic was passion while Phoenix guards Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter also filmed spots while in Seattle this week.

The commercials are projected to air later this season and next NBA season. They are targeted at the young male demographic.

Officiating fix?

Phoenix coach Corey Gaines, a former reserve NBA point guard, has long heard rumors about NBA officials "fixing" games, but doesn't believe much of what former referee Tim Donaghy, who admitted to gambling on games and awaits sentencing, had to say in court filings this week.

Donaghy told the FBI that the NBA told officials not to make calls on star players in order to not affect ticket sales and TV ratings. Donaghy pointed to specific playoff series he officiated, too.

"If my head was on the chopping block I'd probably say anything, too," Gaines said. "A veteran player is going to get calls over a rookie, that's normal in any league. That's the way it rolls. He's saying something deeper, but could just be talking."

Injury update

• Mercury center Tangela Smith did not start due to swelling in her right knee. Smith is expected to rejoin the lineup Saturday against Detroit.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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UPDATE - 7:10 PM
Storm re-signs Swin Cash to multiyear deal

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