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July 14, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Game thread: Seattle at San Antonio

STORM LOSES: The Storm lost 69-66 to the Silver Stars, dropping to 0-5 this season when trailing after three-quarters. It probably officially signals the end of the comeback tag its earned last year. Robinson figures that’s part of the problem for Seattle, too. “We got so used to winning and in this league, you’re going to lose,” she said. It was one of those games where if Seattle were 100 percent alert, it would have won despite shooting 18.8 percent to open the game and missing nine FTs overall. Instead it was a small play, Adams leaping for an offensive board, putting the ball back in the hole while being fouled by Little that tipped the win in San Antonio’s favor. Adams, a favorite of the 9,167 in attendance, scored 15 of her game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter. Seattle missed four FTs in the quarter alone. There was a lot of extra chatter between Storm players and players and coaches on the court. Willingham called it being in a “gray area,” everyone not really knowing where they were supposed to be defensively — visible by Adams popping open for three-pointers. “Some mistakes were in our control,” Storm All-Star Sue Bird said. “Danielle Adams…She obviously played very well. When someone is a rookie, it takes some time to learn their game. She’s pulled some fast ones on a lot of teams and I mean that in a very complementary kind of way.” San Antonio (8-4) snapped a three-game losing streak with the win, defeating Seattle for the first time since July 2009 (six games). The teams will lock horns, again, at KeyArena on the 21st. Until then, the Storm (7-5) travels Friday to continue its road trip at Minnesota (Saturday) and Chicago (Tuesday).
TECH PROBLEMS: My Sprint card isn’t working in the AT&T Center. I’ll be back after the game with thoughts. A Hammon three-pointer gave San Antonio a 24-14 lead with 5:01 remaining in the first half.
EXTRA TOUGH: What are they feeding them down in Texas? The Silver Stars aren’t especially big, but are thick and physical, getting dirty every where on the court to build a 17-10 lead at the end of the opening quarter. The Storm is starting to figure the team out, however, and is getting solid play from C Ashley Robinson to add to the post rotation. Shooting remains off for the Storm, though, 3-for-16 in the first quarter. The Silver Stars are 7-for-15, getting four points so far from Adams.
BIG APPLAUSE: Rookie Danielle Adams entered the game to the delight of the crowd. She immediately grabbed a rebound and forced a foul on Smith, making both ensuing FTs to put San Antonio ahead 10-5 with 4:07 on the clock.
HARD WORK: Seattle’s is working hard in the paint, but not coming up with anything for the effort. Wright’s jumper made the score 4-2 with 6:43 remaining in the opening quarter. Previously the Storm was 0-for-7 from the field, Riley accounting for two blocks.
Who knew you could tan in the shade? Thanks for that lesson San Antonio. Not sure how people are going to handle this weather for the All-Star game, the locals even commenting about the squelching heat.
It’s not that it’s uncommon. It’s just that the consecutive days in 100-degree weather is odd, especially without some rain sprinkled in. Guess I shouldn’t complain given the weather Seattle has experienced, but it’s hot.
Perhaps the weather zapped the Silver Stars’ impressive start. San Antonio jumped out to a franchise-best 7-1 record in June. But has lost its past three games to allow a four-team race for first in the West, Tulsa already seemingly out of it at 1-12.
Defensive lapses, missed free-throws, and poor execution late are reasons coach Dan Hughes has given in postgame interviews. But the Silver Stars still have one of the best all-round teams in the league and usually take good care of the ball, averaging a league-fewest 11.8 turnovers.
Seattle, meanwhile, believes it found its mojo after back-to-back wins against Los Angeles (99-80) and Washington (79-71). The only crimp being the Sparks entering on a four-game losing streak and the Mystics being 2-9 before dropping its game to the Storm.
Record-wise, San Antonio is going to be Seattle’s best challenge to see if it’s truly hitting form. It’s the first of a five-game series with the Silver Stars (7-4) and first of five this month against teams ahead of the Storm (7-4) in Western Conference standings.
Let’s see who’s real and who’s not, beginning with your starting lineups:
F Swin Cash
F Camille Little
C Le’coe Willingham
G Sue Bird
G Tanisha Wright
F Scholanda Robinson
F Sophia Young
C Ruth Riley
G Tully Bevilaqua
G Becky Hammon
Tonight’s officials are Michael Price, Penny Davis, and Roy Gulbeyan.



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