Storm pummels league's doormat in 77-63 win
The Storm won its eighth consecutive game at KeyArena, topping one-win Tulsa.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Storm returned to its cocoon on Thursday, where turnovers seemingly don't exist, shots always find the hoop, and wins appear easily.
If only KeyArena were a mobile home.
"Man, this place is magical," said Storm forward Camille Little, who nullified a 5-for-18 shooting effort from the field in the team's past two road games with a season-high 19 points and seven rebounds on Thursday against Tulsa.
After a disappointing road trip on which Seattle committed a combined 47 turnovers in two losses and missed buckets even at the rim, the Storm pounded the WNBA's worst team 77-63 at KeyArena. It was the Shock's 16th consecutive loss, one shy of the WNBA record set by Atlanta in 2008.
The Storm, meanwhile, won its eighth consecutive home game, before 6,503 fans.
"Coming off that road trip, turnovers were something that was discussed," Storm guard Sue Bird said. "We only had nine and that's a very good thing for us. When we can keep our turnovers low, we're much more successful."
The Storm opened the game on 14-2 run, Bird kicking off the win with a three-pointer and forward Swin Cash forcing the Shock to call timeout with a trey of her own with 6:57 remaining in the opening quarter.
Tulsa briefly had an answer in Australian rookie Liz Cambage, a 6-foot-8 center. Her play while 6-4 Storm center Ashley Robinson was on the bench helped close the deficit to 28-22, scoring 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting.
But when Cambage, who finished with a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds, was taken out after a flagrant foul with 5:47 remaining in the half, Seattle went on a 15-0 run to rebuild its lead.
Tulsa never closed within single digits.
"That girl is big," Little, who's 6-2, said of Cambage. "Even with Ashley out there, we all tried to do whatever we could. She's tough when she gets low to the basket. We just tried to make it hard for her. ... I can just try to do my best to not let her get it, that's about it. I'm just happy she was the only one.
"It's hard when a lot of people are doing that."
The Shock was without coach Teresa Edwards, who will be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame on Friday. A five-time Olympian, Edwards also was a player/coach in the defunct ABL.
She replaced Tulsa coach Nolan Richardson in July, altering the style of the Shock (1-21). The team doesn't hound opponents as much defensively, playing a slower tempo that's more suitable to utilizing Cambage inside.
The Shock outrebounded the Storm 33-26 overall and outscored the home team 35-27 in the second half. But the game was already decided.
"I wasn't excited about how we played in the second half, but we still didn't turn the ball over," said Storm coach Brian Agler, whose team plays a rematch with Atlanta on Saturday. The Storm (13-10) had a franchise-record 29 turnovers in a loss to the Dream on Sunday.
"We're taking better care of the basketball," he continued. "You can tell by some of the decisions on our passes."
Or maybe it's just playing at KeyArena.
• The Storm is hosting a Wheaties box signing on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the QFC store located on the corner of Fifth Avenue North and Mercer in Seattle. The store is providing one 2010 WNBA championship commemorative box per fan while supplies last. The seven returning members of the Seattle championship team and coaching staff will be available during the hour for autographs.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Storm 77, Shock 63
|Tulsa||18||10||23||12 — 63|
|Seattle||26||24||17||10 — 77|
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