score: Storm 74 Fever 60 (W) (15-11)
Game Blog | Pelton's
E | Rick
don't know about any of you, but I was pretty worried about
this game. I've had my concerns about the Storm's ability
to hang with the league's good teams. Let's face it, the Storm's
M.O. this season regardless of their opponent's quality is
to play tightly contested games. Against good teams, there
is always a danger that a tight game will be decided by a
last second shot or a late-game push. On top of all of that,
Indiana got spanked the other night at Sacramento. You know
that they would be out for blood in their next game. And finally,
Tully was recognized before the game for her inclusion on
the Storm's All-Decade Team — any time there are pregame
ceremonies like that, things seem to go badly for the Storm.
tonight's pregame ceremony overdose unclogged that particular
bugaboo since in addition to Tully getting her award and flowers,
Swin got a game ball for hitting her 3,000th point and LJ
got two game balls for hitting her 5,000th point and 2,000th
rebound. I think that may be the most pregame awards we ever
had. Maybe we overloaded the pregame ceremony jinx.
other thing had me finding ways to accept the inevitable before
tip-off — the Fever were hitting freakin' everything
during their shoot-around. Everything. Douglas was raining
threes like she was single-handily trying to reforest the
Mountains to Sound Greenway sponsored by Carter Subaru.
the Storm played a decent game. If they had played a good
game, meaning their offense was consistent and they were playing
smart basketball for 40 minutes, they would have won by 25
or more. As it was, they had some poor shooting, missed what
seemed like a ton of chippies, had some defensive misses that
led to easy Fever baskets and looked like they were going
to completely collapse at the end of the third quarter.
the Storm didn't play a particularly good game, but they played
well enough, especially on defense (most of the time) to build
a lead and then keep that lead.
was hitting everything pregame? It's a good thing she got
it in there because she was blanketed during the game. Tanisha
and Swin were all over her. Same thing happened to Catchings.
She was never allowed to get going and ended up being more
of a distributor than scorer. That said, she was three assists
and three rebounds away from a triple-double.
Fever did a similar number on LJ. I swear she was actually
quadruple-teamed at one point in the fourth quarter. When
she wasn't wearing Sutton-Brown, Moore or Hoffman like bad
coats, she was missing anyway due to her sore back. When she
came out of the game for the last time in the fourth quarter,
the trainer was instantly wrapping her midsection with what
looked like cellophane. She also seemed to tweak an ankle
during the game. I think it was during a play in the first
half when she was going after a rebound or loose ball. It
was in front of the Storm bench. It looked like she was reaching
for the ball and took a long step forward. She came up limping
after passing the ball up the court. Unfortunately, the Storm's
upcoming schedule isn't going to allow for much rest.
only time during the game that it felt like the Storm had
lost control and were on the verge of an epic breakdown was
at the end of the third quarter. Up to that point, the Storm
had withstood the Fever's attacks and had been able to overcome
their own normal third quarter slumps. But with a minute to
go, it looked like the Storm took a collective mental vacation.
a minute left, the Storm were up by 14. Catchings hits an
easy layup to get it down to 12. After an LJ miss, the Fever
take it back up the floor. On a rebound after a January miss,
Tanisha gets called for a loose ball foul. There are 13 seconds
on the clock. It was on the other end of the court, so I didn't
see what happened. The crowd down there seemed to go pretty
ballistic. Catchings hits both free throws, getting the score
down to 10. When the Storm brought the ball back up the floor,
Tanisha took a run at the basket and seemed to change her
mind and pull it back out to take more time off the clock
(actually a good idea), but traveled when she stopped her
drive. The Fever attack the basket as the game clock wound
down and Janell got called for a foul on January. Another
pair of made free throws and the score is down to 8. With
just over six seconds left, the Fever had used the clock and
the Storm's miscues to put the Storm on their heels and completely
take over the game's momentum.
must have felt a little too confident about that because Sue
was able to take the ball up the court in just a couple seconds
and hit Janell for a layup and a foul with just a second left
on the clock. Janell hit the freebie and was able to push
the lead back to 11.
had to be the key play of the game. The Fever were on the
verge of taking total control of the game and overcoming three
quarters of so-so play. If the quarter had ended with that
8-point lead, you know that Douglas and Catchings would have
unloaded and the game would have been another nail-biter and
Sue was able to wipe away the Fever's momentum and put the
Storm back on even footing with her floor vision, a great
pass, and JB's score. The Storm survived a couple questionable
calls and a couple bad decisions to make it into the fourth
quarter with some life. The closest the Fever were able to
get the rest of the game was 10 points. The Storm were able
to trade baskets and finish off the game with free throws.
may not have been the prettiest of wins, but there was a lot
here for us to be pretty happy about. The Storm made mistakes,
but were able to keep their composure. Their defense was able
to take the Fever's big guns out of the game for most of the
40 minutes. They rebounded and forced turnovers while keeping
their own turnovers to a minimum even though the turnovers
they did commit were on the boneheaded side. Coach Agler is
still playing a short roster, but he's at least giving Suzy
a few minutes out there and both JB and Pee Wee got good court
Storm really need to win their home games from here on out.
Any more road wins would be great. It's hard to think that
LA may catch the Storm, but it's a possibility. The Storm
have had a stranglehold on second place for most of the season.
They are really going to have to work to keep it.
was Women of Inspiration night and the Storm honored four
women from the community for their contributions.
January had a group of fans at the game with a monster sign.
They were sitting up behind the visitor bench.