for this game

Sky-Storm Preview

Jul 29, 2010 - 6:49 PM By MATT BEARDMORE STATS Writer

Chicago (12-13) at Seattle (21-2), 10:00 p.m. EDT

With the top seed in the Western Conference already clinched, the Seattle Storm might need to find some motivation over the last three weeks of the regular season.

Staying unbeaten at home and defeating the team that handed them their first loss of the year should be more than enough.

Looking to improve to 13-0 at KeyArena, the Storm also look for their 13th straight win overall Friday night against a last-place Chicago Sky team that's still looking to reach the postseason for the first time.

Led by Lauren Jackson's season-high 33 points, the Storm (21-2) rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit Tuesday to defeat defending WNBA champion Phoenix 91-85. After giving up a season-high 56 first-half points, Seattle outscored the Mercury 24-8 in the third quarter and secured homecourt advantage through the conference finals.

"Everyone just sort of dug deep and got out there and played defense and that was the one thing that won us the game," said Jackson, second in the league with 22.3 points per game.

Poor defense was one of the reasons Seattle lost 84-75 at Chicago on May 27. The Sky were off to their worst start in franchise history at 0-4, but went 6 for 13 from 3-point range and shot 49.1 percent from the field to snap Seattle's team-best 4-0 start.

"We didn't get any stops," Jackson said after scoring 15 points with 11 rebounds in the Storm's third consecutive loss to Chicago. "We didn't help each other defensively. We didn't play how we normally play defensively and we are known as a defensive team and tonight we just didn't show it at all."

The Storm, who have won five of their last six by eight points or fewer, will try to do a better job against Chicago center Sylvia Fowles, who scored 19 points with eight boards and four blocks during May's matchup.

Fowles had 18 points with eight rebounds and newcomer Shay Murphy added 12 points, but Chicago (12-13) fell to 1-1 on its five-game trip with Tuesday's 78-74 loss to Eastern Conference-leading Indiana.

"We fought hard in the second half," said Murphy, who signed with the Sky last week after being waived by the Fever. "To steal a game from the Fever would have been nice."

The Sky, who trail Indiana by just five games, will now try to hand the Storm their first home loss for the second straight year. With Fowles scoring just four points and pulling down five rebounds in her first game back after missing four with a sore right knee, Chicago snapped Seattle's franchise-record 15-game home winning streak with an 86-81 victory July 12, 2009.

Seattle leads 6-3 all-time versus Chicago.

  • 5
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

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