The Storm takes Game 1! Extra, extra, read all about it!
Storm wins postseason opener against L.A. Sparks – Jayda Evans, Seattle Times
Los Angeles never got closer than eight in the fourth quarter and trailed by as many as 18, allowing the crowd of 10,589 to cut loose by doing the wave.
“I was actually on the bench, and I saw the wave,” Bird said. “That’s the first time I’ve seen it (at KeyArena). It was pretty cool. They cheered just as loud the rest of the game, so if they want to have a little fun in their seats, so be it.”
Powerful Seattle Storm acts like champion in playoff opener – Jerry Brewer, Seattle Times
Nothing explains the Storm’s riveting ascent better than the dueling roles they juggle in these WNBA playoffs.
In one storyline, they are cast as misery’s unenthusiastic companion, as losers of five consecutive first-round series, as victims of injuries and incomplete rosters over the past half-decade.
Yet, amid a dream season, they’re also playing the part of the dominant pre-champion, the overwhelming favorite to win it all, the team that can’t lose unless a catastrophe strikes.
Storm uses another home win to take a 1-0 series lead – Todd Dybas, seattlepi.com
A banked in three-pointer by Camille Little was the four-leaf clover that began the final push. Tanisha Wright followed with a three of her own at the end of the shot clock. Lauren Jackson made consecutive hoops. Another layup form Little.
With a mere 1:50 remaining the lead moved out to a game-high 18 points. That was sufficient, though not easily gained.
Storm wins from long range – Mike Allende, The News Tribune
It’s one down, six to go for the Seattle Storm.
Using a balanced offense and an active defense, the Storm seized the lead early on and never gave it up, racing to a 79-66 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks in the opener of the best-of-three Western Conference playoffs in front of 10,589 fans at KeyArena on Wednesday night.
Storm knock off Sparks in Game 1 – Aaron Lommers, Everett Herald
For winning all of their 17 home games and tying the WNBA record for most wins in a single season with 28, all the Seattle Storm really got was home-court advantage in the playoffs.
But as the rest of the WNBA knows, Seattle having home-court advantage is a big problem for the Storm’s opponent.
In Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Sparks on Wednesday night, the Storm’s home-court advantage was on display for everyone in Key Arena to see, most notably the Sparks.
Storm Use an Early Run to Defeat the Sparks, 79-66 – Nate Parham, SBN Seattle
But although the Storm starters were considerably quieter in the second quarter, the Storm played even with the Sparks based on the performance of rookie forward Jana Vesela, who played all 10 minutes and shot 3-for-3 from the three point line and had all 11 of her points when the Sparks stopped turning the ball over.
While some observers may have been surprised by the performance, this is what many of her Storm teammates have been expecting of her.
“She’s very effective in Europe, so to have her come out tonight and hit a couple of threes, she got her hands on a couple of balls, that’s what we’re going to need in this playoff series because she’s so versatile . It’s really hard to match her with a guard, and if a post player is on her she can go to the basket. She just gives us a different look on the offensive end.”
Sparks overmatched in playoff opener – D.J. Foster, ESPNLA.com
When the Sparks temporarily solved the puzzle of stopping MVP candidate Jackson by swarming her on the catch while still managing to close out on shooters, their ability to create offense disappeared. Finding space to operate proved to be a difficult exercise all evening, as Seattle cut off all passing lanes and used its tremendous length to get its hands on passes and disrupt the Sparks’ offensive flow. The Sparks usually distribute the ball well as a team, but a lack of movement and some tough defense resulted in only eight assists to 13 turnovers for Los Angeles.
The Works: Lauren Jackson and the Wild, Weird WNBA – Bethlehem Shoals and Tom Ziller, Fanhouse.com
Jackson’s Storm just finished up a 28-6 season, going a perfect 17-0 at home. Wednesday night, they beat the Los Angeles Sparks — the team that has defeated a Jackson-less Storm in the playoffs two years running — in a 79-66 contest that was far closer than it should have been. Seattle came out possessed only to fall flat in the second half. Lucky for them, the Sparks never put together a run, and Storm pulled out the win. Jackson finished with 17 points, nine boards, two steals and a block, on what was basically a two-quarter game for her.