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May 30, 2008 at 6:03 PM

Silver Stars game thread

STORM WINS: Well this was a breeze. At least it looked that way from my seat. The Storm’s week of practice paid off and the Storm collected a 78-57 win. Jackson credited practice in her postgame interview on the court. It was “Girls’ Night” at the Key and my guess is a couple of parties are going to pop-off around the city after this victory. Next up is winless Houston on Sunday.
WRIGHT MOVES: G Tanisha Wright has sprung off the bench to really play well for the Storm and keep the lead going. She has eight points on 4-for-6 shooting with three rebounds and two assists. One of her dishes to Jackson put the Storm up 64-44 with 7:45 remaining in the game. The Storm (and crowd) are keeping up the intensity, putting on their best show of the season.
END OF HALF: The Storm played some serious defense and won the rebounding battle 19-13 to be ahead 39-23 at the break. Jackson has 18 points and Swoopes has nine. San Antonio has started to find Wauters underneath the hoop and she has 11 to lead her team. Sue Quigley is the halftime show. Here’s wishing the Storm books Camille Bloom and Choklate in the future.
MINI RUN: San Antonio isn’t rolling over, not that anyone would expect them to. The Silver Stars just pieced together a 9-0 run on the Storm reserves with Bird leading the point. Seattle called a timeout to talk it over.
HEADED FOR A FIRST: It’s the LJ and Swoopes show at the Key and I feel for anyone who decided to show late because of the Storm’s past trend of being the league’s comeback chicas. The team is up 31-10 and Swoopes is playing like it’s 2005, picking off passes and making threes. They’ve even brought back the “Swoopes there it is” track when she hits a bucket. Jackson is the main force, however, scoring 16 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the field. There’s 5:30 remaining before the half and this would be the first time this season that the Storm has led at the break.
TARNISHED STARS: San Antonio is 0-for-15 from the field and has played all but one player available on their roster. Young just hit their first field goal with 31.8 seconds remaining in the opening quarter. This is the second time this season that Seattle has led after the first quarter, doing so against Sacramento on May 20 when Seattle led 15-14.
THERE IT IS: Swoopes scooped up a rebound and took is coast-to-coast for a layin on Wauters. The Belgium doesn’t look as solid as she did in her San Antonio debut. Meanwhile, the Storm is looking like the team predicted all offseason. With Swoopes’ basket, the Storm is up 16-2 with 3:00 remaining.
HOT START: Griffith just sparked a three-point play to put the Storm up 10-0 at the first timeout with 7:01 remaining in the opening quarter. Yo blocked a Hammon pass and flung the ball ahead to Bird. Bird raced down the court with Wauters tailing her, flicked a no-look pass to a trailing Jackson, who made the layin while being fouled. You didn’t see this type of execution in San Antonio last week. For one, Bird was hitting Jackson in the head with the ball on in-bound plays. Guess their rhythm is finally over its jetlag.
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES: Owner Anne Levinson’s past as deputy mayor is a huge perk for the Storm. She brought U.S. Senator Patty Murray to the opener and now King County Executive Ron Sims is seated courtside next to her. City of Seattle councilmember Bruce Harrell is also in attendance with his daughter, but he won tickets through a charity and didn’t get the political hook-up.
‘DO NO. 4: This may be my own tally, but Swoopes is on hairstyle No. 4, going with a long curly look in a light summer brown. Looks cute in a ponytail, but haven’t seen it down, yet.
For those wanting more on the Becky Hammon-Russian saga, tune into ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” on June 8 for an entire segment about her decision. Her team is on the KeyArena court now warming up for tonight’s game and she’s trying to keep the Olympics off her mind but with Team USA set to announce its first nine members during halftime of ABC’s broadcast of the Los Angeles-Washington afternoon game on Saturday, it’s kind of difficult to keep the focus on the WNBA season.
San Antonio will be playing without C Ruth Riley, who sprained her right ankle in practice earlier this week. Recent arrival Ann Wauters will start in her place. Wauters, who is returning to the league after a two-year absence, played 27 minutes in the Silver Stars’ win against the Storm last Saturday. She finished with 10 points and six boards, so Storm PG Sue Bird doesn’t think Wauters starting will change much in Seattle’s game plan.
“They’re definitely different players in that Wauters likes to post-up more and Ruth likes to shoot more,” Bird said. “So, the way we would guard pick-and-rolls and cover things would be different. But Ann played a lot the other day, so we got to see her. If anything, she’s probably more comfortable now than she was then.”
Wauters arrived in San Antonio on May 21 from Belgium due to troubles securing her visa.
One more note from San Antonio, the team is reporting that G Shanna Crossley underwent successful surgery on her torn left ACL on Thursday. She suffered the injury during training camp and is out for the season.
Here are tonight’s starters:
STORM
F Swin Cash
F Lauren Jackson
C Yolanda Griffith
G Sheryl Swoopes
G Sue Bird
INACTIVE: Florina Pascalau
SILVER STARS
F Vickie Johnson
F Sophia Young
C Ann Wauters
G Becky Hammon
G Helen Darling
INACTIVE: None designated since team only has 11 players.
Tonight’s officials are Clarke Stevens, Angelica Suffren, and Brenda Pantojai.

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