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September 12, 2008 at 6:25 PM

Dream game thread

GAME OVER: The Storm won 77-72, proving that they have as many interchangeable parts as Sacramento. Only Seattle’s win. Jackson spoke, telling the crowd she missed them a lot. Seattle was 8-4 without Jackson. The sold out crowd is still on its feet waiting to hear from all of the players. There was a big applause for the four local owners and shouts of MVP for Bird. Little (21) and Gearlds (18) had career-highs while Wright added 14 points, four boards, four assists, and only two turnovers. Wright was funny about the alley-oop pass to A-Rob. “She should have dunked that man! Seriously, I’m not throwing her any more alley-oops unless she dunks one.” But can A-Rob dunk? “We’re debating,” Wright said. “We think she can but she doesn’t try hard enough — we say. She’s too pretty to try hard enough. She’s going to be mad I said that.”
SMACK THAT!: Lennox is giving A-Rob props from the bench while FTs are being shot. A-Rob just blocked a shot attempt by Izi that had everyone in the house feeling the pain. The reserves are really turning it on with their defense and lead 65-59 with 6:09 remaining.
SWEET PLAY: After a turnover filled game in Sacramento, Wright is rebounding like a champion. She just completed one of the sweetest plays I’ve seen since Candace Parker dunked. Racing down court on a fast break, instead of streaking to the basket, Wright threw a lob pass to Ashley Robinson, who extended her 6-foot-4 body to grab the pass and lay it into the bucket before landing. KeyArena erupted as the Storm moved ahead. But a turnover by Little allowed the Dream to take their first lead 52-51. A layin by Little off a Wright pass put the Storm back up 53-52 to end the third quarter.
LENNOX OUT: Hope folks enjoyed those forgettable 11 minutes from Lennox in the opening half because she’s not returning. Diagnose is she’s out with a left Achilles tendon injury. She was 1 of 4 from the field for four points and nothing else but love for the Seattle crowd. The Dream has tied the score at 43 points apiece with 4:16 remaining in the third quarter.
FEELING WEEZY: Former Sonic and current OK Thunder (cracks me up) Chris Wilcox, aka “Weezy,” is seated behind the Storm bench.
LENNOX OUT?: Lennox is limping after a hard foul in the opening quarter by Ely seemed to injure her ankle. Lennox played 11 minutes, scoring four points, but tossed her mouthpiece and continues to fiddle with her left ankle on the bench. She has an old Achilles injury that she said was bothering her. With the Dream’s season decided and the Storm not playing their stars, I could see Dream coach Marynell Meadors saving Lennox. Atlanta is close, though, trailing 28-26 with 1:20 remaining before halftime.
CALLING TIME: How bad is Atlanta? So bad the Storm’s bench can whip them. At least that’s the way this game is starting out. Seattle is using entry-passes inside to build a 10-4 lead with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter. It’s like the old days (last season) with KeyArena belting the “Ole” Brazilian theme. Only this time it’s in favor of Santos, who has four points. The Dream is talking it over, but perhaps they should get the ball to Lennox, who missed her only attempt of the quarter.
B-MANIA: OK, the game hasn’t even started and every time Lennox and Izi’s names are mentioned the crowd cheers. It’s pretty cool. Now I understand why Lennox said she’ll have to stop herself from sniffling throughout the game. Just now there were more shouts of “We love you, Betty” and “Izi! Izi! Izi!”
GOLDEN: Lennox’s brother, Clarence, is here and dressed in a gold suit with black undershirt. Lennox said she called when she landed this afternoon to tell him to wear blue in honor of the Dream, but he already had his wardrobe set.
THUMBS UP: Wright isn’t into fashion, so her blase opinion about the shooting shirt designed by Everett-based fan Rachel Gerhardt. Bird thought it was cool and so did Gearlds, who took the time to checkout the other winners from across the league “It’s a good concept,” she said. But Bird had to do a little explaining about the storm warning flags used in the design. “I didn’t know when I first saw it in the stands, though,” she said. ,
Now I know I’m voting Storm coach Brian Agler for Coach of the Year. He made the wise move of sitting his starters for tonight’s home finale against Atlanta. Or maybe that should read that injuries are forcing him to sit his starters — at least when it comes to Swin Cash (back) and Sheryl Swoopes (concussion), who will not dress tonight.
Although PG Sue Bird and C Yolanda Griffith are able to go, they won’t because of nagging injuries and a need to rest their bodies for the postseason. Bird acknowledged what a bummer this will be for the KeyArena crowd on “Fan Appreciation” night, “But maybe I can be entertaining from the bench. Wave my towel around Simone Edwards-style or something.”
Stars will still be on the court in Dream G Betty Lennox, the Storm’s 2004 Finals MVP. A smattering of fans along the visitor’s tunnel started to call out her name as she walked off the court with her team following warm-ups. Lennox flashed a big smile and waved to the crowd.
“I feel the love,” she told the media.
It has been a rough go for Lennox and F Iziane Castro Marques, who was traded to Atlanta after three seasons in Seattle. Their team has the worst record in the 14-team league, a drastic change compared to annual postseason appearances with the Storm. In fact, Atlanta’s season is so over, they’re traveling home at 6 a.m. on Saturday and having exit interviews that evening — sending the players on their way for offseason exploits.
Lennox said she’s going to play in Russia again, possibly on the same team as Storm C Janell Burse. Castro Marques is undecided, but usually takes some time to recoup at home.
But for tonight, there’s a game to play. And Atlanta could post their first back-to-back wins of the season if they can upset the Storm tonight. Something tells me that won’t happen, though. As one poster said, the flip side to Seattle being without Lauren Jackson is that the bench has been able to show they can play, too. Now they’ll have a full game to prove that point because Agler has no plans to put Bird or Griffith in the game.
Here’s tonight’s starters:
F Shyra Ely
F Camille Little
C Kelly Santos
G Katie Gearlds
G Tanisha Wright
F Iziane Castro Marques
F Erika DeSouza
C Alison Bales
G Betty Lennox
G Ivory Latta
Tonight’s officials are Kurt Walker, Shelley Nakasone, and Josh Tiven.



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