Storm rallies from 13-point deficit for 83-72 victory over Tulsa Shock
Svetlana Abrosimova scores 19 of her season-high 21 points in second half, and Storm wins its fourth consecutive game.
Seattle Times staff reporter
San Antonio @ Storm, 7 p.m.
TULSA, Okla. — Laid up in the locker room, suffering from back spasms, Sue Bird didn't let much time pass before spewing her thoughts at halftime.
The Storm's starting point guard's lower back flared up before tipoff, sending her to the bench with an irritated look two minutes into the game. Without her, the Storm crumbled, falling behind by 10 at the break.
"We were just thinking too much in the beginning," said Bird of her speech to teammates, knowing it was a game where they could have used her on-court leadership. "You saw it, the minute you caught the ball, you knew the trap was coming so you'd be tense. In the second half, it was catch and go."
With Bird remaining in the locker room watching on a television screen, teammate Svetlana Abrosimova replaced her in the lineup and along with Tanisha Wright helped orchestrate Seattle's 83-72 win at BOK Center on Sunday.
The duo used shorter passes and the Storm (13-2) as a whole played better defensively to hand the Shock (3-11) its eighth consecutive loss.
"In the second half, we were a lot more efficient with the basketball," said coach Brian Agler of his Storm, which had 16 turnovers in the first half and nine in the second. "Sue was vocal. Their conversation might have been a little bit more heated than mine. And then going into the fourth, we got it down by five and they started to realize we could still win the game."
Seattle trailed by as much as 13 in the third quarter. But Abrosimova, who had 19 of her season-high 21 points in the second half, started a 21-0 run midway in the fourth quarter that gave the Storm an 82-66 lead with 2:02 remaining.
Lauren Jackson, who had a game-high 24 points, made a three-pointer to finish the run. Abrosimova scored nine points during the spurt, Lauren Jackson six and Wright four.
Bird's injury will be further evaluated Monday. She has a bulging disk, discovered while playing in Russia. She's questionable for Tuesday's home game against San Antonio.
The team also found success despite not having time to prepare for Tulsa's chaotic style because of travel Saturday. The Storm split into two groups, and the starters were delayed in Denver, arriving at 11:30 p.m.
"It's helter-skelter," said Wright of Shock coach Nolan Richardson's defense. "They trap just for no good reason. Really, they run at you for no good reason. They do what they want."
"We just need to learn how to finish games," Shock forward Tiffany Jackson said. "I don't think we've learned that lesson yet and until we do it'll keep biting us in the butt."
Scholanda Robinson's 16 points led the Shock.
Seattle's fourth consecutive victory assures Agler the spot as WNBA coach at the "Stars at the Sun" All-Star Game on July 10 in Connecticut. The coach whose team has the best record on July 1 is given the honor and no one can catch the Storm by then.
"It really felt like we were playing at practice against some guys because they're not running any offense and they're just pressing and pressing," said Abrosimova. "It was fun because you had to dig really deep and we were missing Sue. It was a lot of things not going our way, but now we know how to deal."
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
Furniture & home furnishings
POST A FREE LISTING