Storm finds the range, wins Game 1
The highly anticipated matchup started with both teams hitting the snooze button. Phoenix and Seattle combined for 2-for-14 shooting from the field. Sue Bird snapped her team out of the offensive funk, sinking an 18-foot jumper that started a 17-5 run.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Game 2, Seattle @ Phoenix, noon, Ch. 4
There's a bug going around this postseason.
It's called the three-pointer. It may hit for a quarter or for an entire game, but it has been spreading through the Storm roster.
On Thursday, reserve guard Svetlana Abrosimova was the latest to catch it, hitting two in the third quarter to help defeat Phoenix 82-74 before a crowd of 9,686 at KeyArena in Game 1 of the WNBA's Western Conference Finals.
Lauren Jackson, who entered the series shooting 25 percent from three-point range, was 7 of 15 from the field and 3 of 8 from three-point range for 23 points for Seattle. Abrosimova hit 3 of 4 three-point attempts and scored 16 points for the Storm, which was 10 of 25 overall beyond the arc.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series is Sunday in Phoenix.
The defending champion Mercury trailed 59-55 after a three-pointer, but a jumper by Storm guard Sue Bird and a three by reserve forward Le'coe Willingham pushed the lead back up to 64-55.
In the fourth quarter, guard Tanisha Wright opened with a three-pointer to get the Seattle lead back to double digits.
In sweeping Los Angeles to advance in the opening round, forward Swin Cash and Jana Vesela's three-point shooting were key for Seattle. Vesela didn't play against the Mercury and Cash was 1 of 8.
But Cash's defensive help against Phoenix star Diana Taurasi was instrumental in the win. Taurasi had three fouls early in the opening half, collected her fourth on a charge taken by Cash, was called for a technical foul and was 2 of 15 shooting from the field.
Taurasi's biggest miss came against Wright's defense with 3:44 remaining and the Mercury down seven. Instead of Phoenix closing in on a possible upset, the Storm made six free throws and Camille Little drove for a layin down the stretch to close out the win.
The highly anticipated matchup started with both teams seemingly hitting the snooze button. Phoenix and Seattle combined for 2-for-14 shooting from the field and three turnovers. Bird snapped her team out of the offensive funk, sinking an 18-foot jumper that started a 17-5 run, and Seattle led 22-7 after a Jackson three-pointer with 1:31 remaining in the first quarter.
Jackson nailed the shot from about 25 feet, standing on the "K" in "KeyArena" on the court. You might have thought the "K" could stand for a knockout for Seattle, but the team lacked the killer instinct it had in previous matchups against the Mercury.
Phoenix coach Corey Gaines put Taurasi on Jackson and sent top reserve DeWanna Bonner into the game to key a 13-1 run that trimmed the Mercury's deficit to three points early in the second quarter.
But Willingham and Jackson went to work inside, outscoring Phoenix 10-6 inside the paint to take a 47-33 lead into halftime. Jackson led all first-half scorers with 17 points.
Storm 82, Mercury 74
|Phoenix||14||19||22||19 — 74|
|Seattle||23||24||17||18 — 82|
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.