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August 1, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Game thread: San Antonio at Seattle

STORM WINS: The Storm won 85-82 in overtime. Jackson led with 23 points and played good defense in the end, helping to not allow Hammon make a tying three-pointer. Seattle admitted they didn’t play their best on defense, Bird chalking it up to fatigue at times. The Storm was focused at the free throw line, however, making 30 of 37 shots.
HIGH 5 CAM: Don’t know if this is in response to the KissCam, but the Storm introduced the “High 5 Cam” tonight. It’s as dorky as the move, but better than watching people swap spit. KeyArena fans weren’t too hip to the cam, either, needing Clarence Lennox to correctly show them how to high-five. Lennox said he couldn’t miss the All-Decade celebration, appearing in neon green. Storm leads 84-82 with 8.1 seconds remaining in overtime.
BIRD CALL: Bird tied the score at 77 points apiece and sent it into overtime with a three-pointer with 3.0 seconds remaining. It’s the Storm’s second overtime game this season, defeating LA in overtime last week.
STORMIN AHEAD: The Storm managed to tie the game on the only thing that seems to be working — free throw shooting. Jackson made two to make the score 68-68. Wright gave the Storm a 70-68 lead with 2:41 left. Seattle dominates at the line, getting 32 attempts to San Antonio’s 21.
FOUL TROUBLE: Players are racking up the fouls. Cash is already on the bench with five while Little and Wright have four. Shannon Johnson was just called for a third, that was really a block ref, and Seattle is starting to play even more cautious on defense. San Antonio took a 61-60 lead off a Riley layin. Storm coach Brian Agler called timeout with 6:10 remaining in the fourth quarter.
COVER HER: Erin Perperoglou hit a three-pointer and the Silver Stars are back in it, trailing 56-53 at the end of the third quarter. The Storm did have a 47-39 lead with 5:15 remaining, but had breakdowns in defense to allow San Antonio back in the game.
END OF HALF: The Storm leads 39-33 at the break. Cash leads with 10 points and Bird has hit two three-pointers for six points. Riley leads the Silver Stars with seven points. The Storm is honoring itself now, welcoming back former players and staff. There are Greek columns adorned with basketballs on the court and everyone is walking out on a red carpet.
RUNNIN HAMMON: back-to-back baskets by Hammon have closed the gap to 28-25 with 3:41 remaining before halftime. The Storm remains sloppy with the ball and it’s starting to hurt as San Antonio gets a little life in its offense. Seattle was forced to call a timeout, we’ll see if there’s any change in play.
END OF FIRST: Fans gave a rousing applause and ovation to Edwards and Vodichkova as they took their courtside seats. They are seated next to former co-owner Jack Rodgers. The Storm is up 20-12, getting solid ball movement but not making many shots. It’s a physical game, as expected.
WAUTERS BLOCK: Jackson stopped Wauters in her tracks as the Belgium attempted a drive to the hoop. The result was a jump ball as they tussled for the ball. Seattle leads 14-10 with 2:07 remaining.
POOR SHOOTING: At the first timeout Seattle leads 9-8, but neither squad is shooting well. Jackson and Bird are a combined 0-for-4 and the Storm is shooting 25 percent overall. San Antonio is shooting 33.3 percent.
Bumped into former Storm G Semeka Randall, who is currently coaching Ohio University. Some friends and I were talking about her lunchbox giveaway when she played for Seattle.
“Yeah, that was the day I got traded,” Randall said. “I got one. I tell that story to my players all the time.”
Randall was traded to Utah in 2002 and had a revival from being toyed around in the Storm rotation. Then the team was told it was moving to San Antonio and Randall played there from 2003-04.
“When I heard about a coaching jo, I took it and ran,” said Randall of first being an assistant at Cleveland State.
Is a WNBA gig in her future?
“I like impacting young women,” Randall said of her reason not to jump to the pros. “It’s like raising your own kids.”
Randall hasn’t been back to Seattle since 2002 and was emotional as everyone else at the KeyArena and its fans still being the same. She’s not part of the All-Decade team, but ownership offered any former player or staff a ticket in for the celebration of its history.
It’s pretty wild to see. G Michelle Marciniak, C Simone Edwards, and C Kamila Vodickova were standing court side playing around C Janell Burse, F Lauren Jackson, and San Antonio assistant coach Sandy Brondello, who was a former Seattle guard.
But the focus is on the court where the current Storm is trying to hold onto second in the Western Conference. Seattle lost to San Antonio by a buzzer-beater on Tuesday. Tonight the Silver Stars will have C Ann Wauters in their lineup, resigning her for the remainder of the season.
“She looks a little stronger,” San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said. “It’s going to take a little time to get her in basketball rhythm, but she’s in better good physical condition. She gets things really quick. We’re going to play her, I don’t know how much, but it’ll grow each day.”
Wauters, a 6-foot-5 center, was a critical part of the Silver Stars’ run to the WNBA Finals last season. San Antonio currently sits fourth in the West at 8-9.
“We had such a good season last year and this team really meant a lot to me,” Wauters said. “I followed this season, which hasn’t been easy. Now, with it all back together, I hope we can do what we did last year.”
Well, it starts tonight. So, let’s get started with your lineups:
F Belinda Snell
F Sophia Young
C Ruth Riley
G Vickie Johnson
G Becky Hammon
F Swin Cash
F Lauren Jackson
C Camille Little
G Sue Bird
G Tanisha Wright
Tonight’s officials are Sue Blauch, Kevin Sparrock, and Tony Dawkins.



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