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June 24, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Game thread: Minnesota at Seattle, take two

STORM WINS: Wright is becoming your big-play winner, scoring seven of her final 11 points in the fourth quarter to help Seattle (4-2) pull out a 65-55 win before 7,914 at KeyArena on Friday. Her defense also highlight the team’s effort — holding Moore to four points and shutting down Augustus late. The Lynx All-Star had just two points in the final quarter as the team shot 4-for-16 from the field overall. “We just ran a couple different looks and it opened up,” Wright said. “The thing is, when Lauren is on the court, she commands so much attention both offensively and defensively for the opposing teams. When she’s not on the floor, we’ve got a lot of options and opponents have to be worried about a lot of options. That’s the difference between the two. Opponents are worried about a lot more going on.” Overriding payback, Seattle wanted to see a better effort and did defensively. Agler remains concerned about the offense. In fact, he rode the offensive play to his 200th career victory, limiting himself to a seven-player rotation. Bird played a season-high 38 minutes. “They have a lot of confidence at the defensive end,” Agler said. “At some point maybe we’ll start making some shots. We’ve got to figure out a new rotation now. We’ve got to get Belinda (Snell) in the mix here and we’ve got to get one more player coming off the bench in the post. We’ve got to try to get Swin’s minutes down, although she’s got great endurance. But we’ve got to try to get some extra people out on the floor.” The Storm improved to 18-23 all-time when playing without Jackson. Seattle is off on Saturday and returns to practice on Sunday to prepare for its first Eastern Conference road swing. “We want to play multiple games well,” said Little, who led Seattle with 16 points. “A lot of times it’s hard to play well for 40 minutes, but if we can get a good stretch a games where we’re playing well, it probably will work out in our favor.”
ROOKIE FIRST: Moore fouled out of her first game of the season, playing a season-low 19 minutes. She was held to a mortal 2-for-7 shooting from the field for four points and one rebound. Seattle leads 64-51 with 1:41 remaining in the game. Little leads with 16 points and five boards. Meanwhile “other rookie” Amber Harris is playing well, with 11 points and five rebounds in 14 minutes.
REGAINING CONTROL: The Storm closed the half on a 10-5 run to retake control of the game with a 35-25 lead at halftime. Credit multiple hustle plays for the run. Robinson fought for a rebound, dished to Cash who spotted Little for a layin. Smith wrestled a loose ball away from Minnesota and later fed Little inside for a score. And Cash drew a foul, nailing both FTs to help build the lead. Seattle is shooting 40.7 percent and outscoring Minnesota 20-8 in the paint. Little leads with 10 points. Brunson remains scoreless, her team led by Augustus’ nine points. Moore, a rookie phenom, is also scoreless on two attempts. Her only logged stat is a foul in eight minutes of play, coach Cheryl Reeve going with Monica Wright to get some defense out of her team.
CLAWING BACK: The Lynx have pieced together a 13-4 run to pull back into the game, forcing the Storm to call a timeout. Seattle leads 25-21 with 4:40 remaining in the opening half.
FOUL TROUBLE: Willingham and Little are gonna need a nickname, especially the longer Jackson is out. Ruff-n-Stuff (?) are doing a solid job on Brunson, working the 6-2 post into a third foul and 0-for-2 shooting from the field. Brunson also only has four boards, so her record seventh consecutive double-double is in danger. By this point June 9, she already had the impressive stat.
FLIP THAT: There’s wasn’t a 22-0 run to kick it off, yet the Storm closed the opening quarter up 21-8. It’s a full reversal of when it trailed 28-8 in the opening quarter to the Lynx on June. 9. Bird leads with seven points while only three Minnesota plays have scored, none more than three points. Seattle is shooting 53.3 percent from the field (8-for-15). Minnesota is 2-for-15 from the field and getting outrebounded 13-9. Seattle is also winning the paint wars 14-4.
REDEMPTION: Minnesota is getting looks at the basket, but is an icy 2 of 12 from the field as Seattle gets extra physical. The Storm is starting to get tagged for fouls, too. A putback by C Ashley Robinson has Seattle up 18-7 with 2:25 remaining in the opening quarter.
Due to news regarding three-time MVP Lauren Jackson being out at least three-weeks with a labral tear in her left hip, I’m late to getting the thread started Friday. The Storm hasn’t waited to heat up in the rematch against Minnesota, however.
The best play so far was around-the-horn passing that led to PG Sue Bird spotting an open F Camille Little under the hoop for a score. Seattle leads 8-4 with 6:21 remaining in the opening quarter.
But let’s backtrack slightly with the starting lineups.
F Maya Moore
F Rebekkah Brunson
C Taj McWillimas-Franklin
G Lindsey Whalen
G Seimone Augustus
F Swin Cash
F Camille Little
C Le’coe Willingham
G Sue Bird
G Tanisha Wright
Tonight’s officials are Kurt Walker, Camaron Inouye, and Maj Forsberg.



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