for this game

Storm down league-leading Fever, 74-60

Aug 23, 2009 - 5:31 AM SEATTLE(AP) -- After seeing her team lose almost all of a 17-point halftime lead in Detroit in their last game, Sue Bird wanted to make sure the Seattle Storm didn't squander a double-digit advantage again.

Bird scored 16 points, and Janell Burse added 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocks on Saturday night, leading the Storm to a 74-60 victory against the WNBA-leading Indiana Fever.

"We learned from the Detroit game. That actually helped us," Bird said of Seattle's 79-75 win against the Shock on Tuesday in which Detroit opened the third quarter with a 13-0 run. "We had the lead, and within the first minute (of the second half), they came back.

"Tonight, we had the lead on our home court, and we just wanted to ride that out."

Indiana (19-7) fell short for the second straight game of becoming the first team to clinch a playoff berth. The Fever dropped a 67-62 decision at Sacramento on Thursday.

Seattle (15-11) had six players score in double figures, including all five starters. Tanisha Wright had 12 points, Lauren Jackson and Swin Cash added 11 apiece, and Camille Little 10.

"The last two games, we've started to play with much more of a purpose," Storm coach Brian Agler said. "But it's only two games. We have to keep bringing this over and over and over if we're going to be one of the elite teams in this league. I thought tonight's game was one of the most consistent games we've played all year long. We were solid every single quarter."

Katie Douglas led Indiana with 12 points, but was kept six points below her team-leading average. Tamika Catchings added 11 points for the Fever.

The Storm went on a 21-4 run during the final 6:02 of the first half to take a 37-25 lead at the break, and they never trailed again. Six players scored for Seattle during that surge, which was capped by Cash's 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left in the half.

Indiana climbed back into the game late in the third quarter, using a 13-4 run to trim the Storm's lead to 54-46. But Burse scored on a fast break off a feed from Bird and made it a three-point play with 1.5 seconds left in the third, pushing Seattle's lead to 57-46.

"I looked and saw how much time we had, and it was enough time to get a good shot," Burse said. "Sue hit me earlier and I missed a lay-up. I said, I'm finishing this lay-up. I don't care, I'm making this shot."'

The Fever never got closer than nine points in the fourth.

"I thought we played well in spurts (but) I thought we looked fatigued," Indiana coach Lin Dunn said. "We got down by 12 points in the first half, but then we played even. We just didn't have the energy to overcome it."

Indiana now has lost back-to-back games for the first time since opening the season 0-2. But Douglas is still confident that a postseason trip will be secured soon.

"It's better to do this in the regular season than it is in the playoffs," Douglas said "This is a veteran team. I don't think there's any panic, but there's definitely a sense of urgency."

Cash fell one rebound shy of a double-double, finishing with nine. Jackson pulled down eight boards for the Storm. Catchings and Ebony Hoffman had seven rebounds apiece for Indiana.

The Fever beat Seattle in Indianapolis earlier in the season, 73-66, the first game of an 11-game winning streak that carried them to the top of the league.

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