“She (Minnesota Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson) only got one (basket), her streak stops here.”
That comment said in the Storm locker room after Seattle (4-2) defeated the Lynx (5-2) 65-55 summed how the team got the win and made a statement.
With Storm center Lauren Jackson sitting out with an injury, for at least three weeks, Seattle showed that they are a true team, stronger than just one player.
“It was a great game for us,” said guard Sue Bird. “We did it with our defense. That’s really what this team is all about and it was good to kind of take a step in the right direction in terms of us getting better, obviously without Lauren. We’ll probably have to play without her for awhile so we need to prove to ourselves we can get these wins.”
The Storm proved not only to themselves but other teams that the talk about the depth of their team is real.
Seattle’s defense slowed Minnesota’s highly touted offense. Brunson was on track to tie Jackson’s league record of seven consecutive double-double’s set in 2003. She was held to two points and seven rebounds.
Every time the Lynx tried to get back into the game the Storm stopped their advance and continued to score.
Leading in the first half by as much as 14 points Seattle dominated Minnesota on both ends of the court. Both teams had 39 offensive possessions but the Storm took advantage of a weak inside to score 10 of their points in the paint.
The Lynx made runs at the Storm getting within two (47-45) by the end of the third quarter. But once again Seattle answered quickly pulling ahead by nine within the first two minutes lead by five points from guard Tanisha Wright and a rebound and block by forward Swin Cash.
That was the state of the game as the Storm never wavered and put down every Minnesota surge.
Seattle not only stopped Brunson’s double-double streak but put the Lynx in the loss column for the first time after five wins.
Jackson knows how dominant her team is even without her and feels that the injury may be a blessing in disguise. Agreeing with Bird that it helped her teammates see it for themselves.
“Maybe this is what they need to understand how good they are and not have to worry about me being the offense,” said Jackson. “It just shows toughness. It shows that they’re a great team and when I come back we’ll be maybe even a better team.”
Scary thought to anyone who may have started to write the Storm off their playoff list and especially for anyone coming to the KeyArena believing the home court advantage was gone.
The fans, 7,914 this night, have shown themselves to be the type to stay focused on the game no matter what the score reads.
“We love playing here,” said Bird. “We’re very comfortable and that’s what kind of made the last time we played Minnesota feel even worse we lost on our home court. It’s very important for us to defend our home court. We know how important it is especially come playoff time so we’re trying to always work for that home court advantage.”
Seattle forward Camille Little lead the Storm with 16 points, Cash added 13 and nine rebounds with forward Le’Coe Willingham (eight rebounds) and Wright each dropping 11. Lynx guard Seimone Augustus ended with 17 points while rookie forward Maya Moore was held to one rebound and four points.
There are plenty of more games before the end of the season and Seattle will be on the road to face the Connecticut Sun on Friday, July 1st at 4:30 p.m. The game will be available online at Live Access and KPTK 1090 AM.