UPDATE: In case you haven’t heard, Minnesota Timberwolves G Ricky Rubio purchased 500 tickets to the Lynx (1-1) decisive Game 3 playoff game against the Storm (1-1) on Tuesday. He gave them away Monday morning. Prior to Friday’s Game 1 at Target Center, teammate Kevin Love did the same and the Lynx reported a sellout (9,213).
Storm fans may be bopping into work on Monday, hoarse but ecstatic about a 86-79 double-overtime playoff win against Minnesota at KeyArena on Sunday. The victory tied the best-of-three opening-round Western Conference series between the WNBA’s past two champions at one game apiece. A decisive Game 3 is Tuesday.
Veteran forward Tina Thompson doesn’t see your excitement. Pushing for extra time on a machine to help stave off pain in her left knee that was sprained in July, she was still in grind mode.
“I think I would have to be a fan of this game to find the entertainment in it,” she said. “It’s kind of far away from me right now. I guess I can understand if I’m watching an NBA game or something like that, you enjoy the intensity of it or the nerves and all that type of stuff. Yeah, for a fanatic it’s great.
“For this game, no, I’m not feeling the entertainment. It was a tough, physical game. When you’re down in and you’re focused and you’re in grind-mode, for me, (entertainment) is the farthest thing from my mind. I don’t care how it looks, I just care about the results.”
Of Game 3, the 16-year veteran was very succinct. Thompson, who’s under a two-year contract with Seattle, won four consecutive titles with defunct Houston (1997-2000).
“We’re going to go in and try to win,” she said. “That’s what we do. I don’t play for any other reason. I think I can speak for my teammates as well.”
JACKSON STAYS: There are those still irritated at Storm C Lauren Jackson opting to miss the opening part of the WNBA season to prepare and participate in the London Olympic Games. She even returned later because as flag-bearer for her native Australia, there were more responsibilities after the Opals won bronze.
Jackson is earning a prorated amount of her $105,500 salary based on WNBA games played. But know Seattle is now benefiting for her presence while another sacrifices.
The 6-foot-6 center signed a lucrative multi-year deal to play for the Canberra Capitals this WNBA offseason. The WNBL league begins practice this week, but Jackson won’t join until the Storm playoff season concludes. She has one-year remaining on her WNBA contract and will continue to return to Seattle.
“Seattle is sort of my home. I’ve played here since I was a baby,” said Jackson of never brushing the Storm since being drafted with the top overall pick at 19-years-old in 2001. “I think until I retire, I’m going to have to be here. I can’t say ‘No, I’m not coming back.’ I wouldn’t do that. Everything (this year) was tiring. It’s been a really long year.”
Prior to the Olympics, Jackson won the prestigious EuroLeague champions with Storm C Ann Wauters as part of Ros Casares Valenica.
STAT MAN: The Storm’s website blogger Kevin Pelton dug up some interesting historical numbers after the win Sunday. Here’s some goodies:
–The Storm won when trailing after three quarters for the first time in 2012. The team was 0-14 in the regular season and 0-1 in the playoffs.
–The win was the first double-OT game in Storm playoff history and second overtime game (1-1). It was the first OT game in Lynx playoff history.
–The game was just the third multi-OT game in WNBA history (Connecticut vs. Indiana, Aug. 23, 2007, 3; Houston vs. Utah, Aug. 18, 2002, 2).
— Storm All-Star Sue Bird (22 points) led the Storm in scoring for the fifth time in her playoff career. Bird’s four steals were a playoff career high and a 2012 high.
— Minnesota F Rebekkah Brunson (22 points, 15 rebounds) had her second consecutive double-double and fourth in her playoff career. Her 15 rebounds are a Storm playoff opponent record.
— Lynx All-Star Seimone Augustus scored 14 of her 20 points in the third quarter. Augustus did not score during the overtime sessions.
THE OTHER SIDE: Here’s the Minnesota paper’s take on the game. It could be slightly skewed, though, since it’s written by The Seattle Times’ new high school reporter Jayson Jenkins.
*PHOTO CREDIT: Storm fans captured Sunday by Seattle Times photographer Erika Schultz.