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September 5, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Game thread: Seattle at Minnesota

STORM LOSE: I really think officials don’t like Wright. Agler calls her “a rising superstar,” but she gets calls like she has the history of Danny Fortson or something. I don’t understand it. Anyway, down the stretch, Seattle was tagged for every foul possible and Wright tossed up an air ball to culminate in a 76-68 loss. Wiggins was a catalyst or benefactor for Minnesota, scoring six of her team’s 8-0 run to closeout the win. The Lynx stay alive in the playoff hunt, but Seattle clinched second because San Antonio defeated Los Angeles. Thankfully for all of the injuries Seattle is facing, the Storm doesn’t play again until Thursday. Agler is giving the team two days off, not practicing again until Tuesday. no word on if Jackson is going to be in the lineup. With two games left and second place secured, I would guess she rests regardless. But I thought Seattle would win this game. Houston led the Lynx with 22 points while Wiggins added 18. Wright had 20 for Seattle and Cash added 19.
ALREADY PARTYING: Wiggings jumped into Houston’s arms after hitting a jumper with 29.5 seconds left that put the Lynx up 74-68. Maybe they aren’t dead.
WOW!: Little just made a dozy to put Seattle up 65-61, then she took a charge to irk the Target Center crowd. With 5:21 remaining in the game, it looks like Seattle will win and that Minnesota’s season is over. Little has 17 while Wright and Cash lead with 18 apiece.
FIRST LEAD: The Storm took their first lead of the game after A-Rob stole the ball on defense and Cash converted a three-point play to put Seattle up 47-46. It was 24-7 run, but Minnesota quickly responded with a three-pointer. Score now tied at 49 points apiece in the third quarter.
HOLY RUN!: The Storm made some adjustments and found some pride at the half, going on a small but significant 9-3 run to pull within 42-38 with 7:34 remaining. PeeWee capped the spurt with a breakaway layin that forced the Lynx to call time.
MONEY BALL: Well, Seattle had a small spark at the buzzer with a big three-pointer at the buzzer by Cash. Add an old fashion three-point play by Pee-Wee and the Storm is down 39-29. Seattle is getting good play from A-Rob, but Burse was benched, again, after getting called for an offensive foul. Seattle is shooting 41.4 percent but allowing Minnesota to shoot 55.2 percent. Seattle has given up 21 points in 13 turnovers.
BURSE BENCHED: Burse was pulled early and is just being put back in. This time foul trouble isn’t to blame. Agler has been looking for something and really isn’t getting it as Seattle has 12 turnovers for 18 Minnesota points. The Lynx lead 34-22.
GET IT WRIGHT: Wright is running the point, a position she’d rather not be in and you can see why with the turnovers and fouls. But Wright is slowly getting the Storm rolling. Slowly. Seattle within 25-13. A-Rob playing well and Ashley Walker is strong on the boards.
A-ROB’S SECTION: The Tennessee women’s soccer team did show for the Storm game, standing to do a quick Ashley Robinson cheer. A-Rob couldn’t get the team to wear green or yellow, however. Seattle closes the quarter down 18-5. Do you have to ask? Yes, that’s a season and franchise low. The previous this season was eight against Chicago.
TIME: So far the Storm reserves aren’t better than the Lynx starters. Minnesota up 16-5 with 1:37 remaining in the opening quarter as Seattle gets beat by backdoor cuts on defense and continues to throw up bricks (2-of-14 FGs). Feeling sorry for the local FSN broadcast. Yeah, watching it via Live Access is a pain, but you almost need a buffer to view this.
ICE COLD: Storm is 1-of-10 from the field to start the game, trailing 12-2 to Minnesota. The Lynx are getting good play inside from Humphrey. Seattle getting open looks, but can’t knock them down.
DIAL SWITCH: Remember the Storm broadcast is on KIXI (880 AM) due to the Nebraska football game on the regular KKNW (1150 AM).
True, injuries happen. But with stars dropping like rain in Seattle — weeks before the postseason begins — you’ve got to wonder if the year-round play is rearing its ugly head. Again. And this isn’t even the worst of it.
Talk on press row was how next season the players are looking at 16-months of straight play due to the WNBA season ending late, players leaving two-weeks later to fufil overseas contracts and then immediately joining camp. Down the road is the World Championships and Olympics, so think anyone is going to start risking their career now?
I bring this up because Storm PG Sue Bird woke this morning with a stiff neck. She stretched and said she heard a crack. She’s unable to move the neck side-to-side and said she really only doesn’t feel pain when standing.
Bird joins Minnesota C Nicky Anosike (sore left knee) as two expected players not suiting up tonight. As you probably know, Seattle is already without Lauren Jackson (back), Katie Gearlds (knee) and the Minnesota is without Seimone Augustus (knee).
Others around the league who’s been hurt? Oh, Sylvia Fowles (knee), Katie Douglas (ankle), Alana Beard (ankle), and Lisa Leslie (knee). That’s just to name a few.
Tonight’s Lynx-Storm injuries make the matchup extremely interesting. Seattle doesn’t need the win, but would like it to seal at least second in the West and continue the push for the regular-season title. Minnesota needs the win in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Lynx magic number with San Antonio is three, meaning any combination of wins/losses equaling three will either knock them out or in to the postseason.
It’ll already be difficult against Seattle, which has won the past seven games. The last one Jackson didn’t play and Bird had just three points, so their absence tonight may not matter.
Let’s get to it. Here’s your starting lineup:
STORM
F Swin Cash
F Janell Burse
C Camille Little
G Shannon Johnson
G Tanisha Wright
LYNX
F Roneeka Hodges
F Charde Houston
CTasha Humphrey
G Candice Wiggins
G Kelly Miller

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