Storm vs. Sparks: How the teams match up
Here's how the Storm and Sparks match up in the best-of-three first-round series
Storm F Swin Cash 13.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg: Two-time WNBA champion (Detroit) often covers opponents' top scorer.
Sparks F Noelle Quinn 10.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg: Averaging career best in points, rebounds.
Storm F Lauren Jackson 20.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg: Became the WNBA's third all-time leading scorer in season finale (5,757 points).
Sparks F DeLisha Milton-Jones 15.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg: Two-time champion (Sparks) averaged 19.8 points in August.
Storm F Camille Little 10.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg: Nailed a game-winner in Game 2 of series against Los Angeles in 2009.
Sparks F Tina Thompson 16.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg: Four-time champion (Houston) averaged 21.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in August.
EDGE: Los Angeles.
Storm G Sue Bird 11.1 ppg, 5.8 apg: Key factor in Seattle posting a 13-6 record when trailing after three quarters this season.
Sparks G Ticha Penicheiro 4.9 ppg, 6.9 apg: Thirteen-year vet signed with Sparks as free agent after Sacramento folded last fall.
Storm G Tanisha Wright 9.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg: Becoming a more versatile guard, averaging a career-best 4.5 assists.
Sparks G Marie Ferdinand-Harris 8.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg: Shooting 47.5 percent from field and 96 percent from free-throw line in past 10 games.
Storm: Stocked with former starters in Svetlana Abrosimova and Le'coe Willingham, who won a championship with Phoenix in 2009, and Czech Republic star Jana Vesela. Add fifth-year Storm center Ashley Robinson, and team has array of options not seen before in the postseason.
Sparks: Played with nine players since June because of injuries to stars Candace Parker (shoulder) and Betty Lennox (knee). F Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton could be an X-factor with her size while teammate Kristi Toliver is a deadly three-pointer shooter (34.9 percent).
Storm: In three seasons, Brian Agler's Storm is 46-5 at KeyArena, including a WNBA-record 17-0 this summer. Plus the Storm won a franchise-record 13 consecutive games.
Sparks: First-year coach Jen Gillom turned a 3-11 start into a playoff-bound team, albeit at 13-21. The former WNBA star managed the loss of leaders Parker and Lisa Leslie (retirement), but must rely on remaining veterans in postseason.
PREDICTION: Storm in two.
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.