for this game

Liberty-Storm Preview

Aug 8, 2009 - 5:58 AM By KATE HEDLIN STATS Writer

New York (6-13) at Seattle (12-9), 10:00 p.m. EDT

After a third consecutive overtime game, the Seattle Storm are hoping for an easier time closing things out against the lowly New York Liberty on Saturday as they look for their first victory against the Eastern Conference.

Seattle (12-9) has played past regulation in three straight games and four of five, including a 98-87 triple-overtime victory over Los Angeles on July 22.

The Storm and Sparks again needed overtime Thursday, with Los Angeles winning 79-75. Seattle led 72-66 with less than two minutes remaining in OT, but the Sparks went on a 12-0 run to take control. Lauren Jackson led Seattle with 21 points but fouled out with 37.7 seconds remaining.

The defeat came two days after the Storm lost 101-90 in overtime to Phoenix, and five days after an 85-82 overtime win over San Antonio.

"We can't attribute the loss to fatigue," Tanisha Wright said after scoring 14 points Thursday. "I don't know if it's a mental lapse, but we put ourselves in situations to win games and we just aren't finishing them."

Seattle has fallen 3 1/2 games behind Phoenix for first place in the West. The Storm, limited to 38.1 percent from the field over their last three games, haven't lost three in a row since June 13-16, 2008.

They also haven't beaten a team from the East this season, going 0-4. Every other Western squad has won at least two games against the opposite conference.

Seattle is looking to win its fifth straight at home against New York (7-13) since a 67-62 loss June 26, 2004. The Storm beat the Liberty 84-71 at KeyArena last season, led by 33 points from Jackson and 23 from Sue Bird.

New York snapped a five-game losing streak Friday by beating Sacramento 84-66.

The victory was the first for interim coach Anne Donovan, who lost her first two games after being promoted following the firing of Pat Coyle. Janel McCarville scored 18 points and New York, which lost by 15 at home against Sacramento last month, outscored the Monarchs 26-14 in the third quarter.

"We came in here desperate for a win," McCarville said.

The Liberty were 10 for 25 from 3-point range while forcing 18 turnovers. They had allowed an average of 85.0 points during the losing streak, with three of those losses coming by six or fewer points.

"This was a really big win for us," said Tiffany Jackson, who had 11 points and six rebounds. "We've been playing well, but we have lost a lot of close games. This will be very good for our confidence. Losing can really wear you down."

Though they lost in Seattle last season, the Liberty earned a split of the 2008 series with a home win. New York leading scorer Shameka Christon, held to a season-low nine points Friday, averaged 22.0 points in those two meetings.