At times tonight, the Tulsa Shock showed why they've put a scare into more talented opponents the last two games. The Shock never lost contact, but the Storm was able to maintain a double-digit margin nearly throughout the fourth quarter. The play of the Storm's reserves and other starters allowed Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson to sit out the entire period, which is good news with the stretch run approaching. Bird played just 25 minutes tonight and Jackson was held to 15, which should be helpful as she comes back form hip surgery.
Jackson made the most of the minutes she did play, scoring a team-high 14 points. Jackson knocked down a pair of three-pointers and had two three-point plays to help propel the Storm forward after halftime. Tanisha Wright also had a really nice night, scoring 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and handing out three assists. And 10 of the Storm's 11 players scored in the game as Coach Agler opened up his bench.
The Storm's magic number for clinching a playoff berth is down to four, and because that number is calculated against Los Angeles, the Storm can cut it in half with a win Sunday. These two long-time rivals are both playing some of their best basketball since getting their stars (Jackson and Candace Parker) back from injury, which should make for a great atmosphere at KeyArena.
(Courtesy of: www.wnba.com)