Storm slip past Silver Stars 69-63
SEATTLE (AP) – Tina Thompson said that the Seattle Storm didn’t need a different game plan. They just needed to execute the plan they already had.
Thompson put up a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Tanisha Wright added 16 points, and the Storm earned a 69-63 victory against the San Antonio Silver Stars on Sunday.
Wright’s two free throws with 10.9 seconds left made it a two-possession game at 68-63.
Camille Little also had a double-double for Seattle (10-12), scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 boards.
The Storm, in the Western Conference’s fourth and final playoff spot, regained a 2 1/2-game lead on fifth-place San Antonio after being routed 77-56 by the Silver Stars on Friday night.
“We were a little embarrassed the other night. You never want to get beat like that on your home court,” said Thompson, whose double-double was her second in the past three games and third of the season.
“We definitely came out today with a different focus. It was executing our strategy.
“Last game, I don’t even think we could tell whether our strategy worked or not, because we didn’t implement any of it.”
Jia Perkins had 19 points for the Silver Stars (8-15), and Jayne Appel had a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds.
Seattle coach Brian Agler agreed with Thompson that following the game plan was a part of Sunday’s outcome. But shaking off Friday’s game was just as big a part.
“People of character always respond, and I said (to the players before the game) that I know what kind of people we have in here,” Agler said.
“Us responding didn’t surprise me. I didn’t know whether it would be good enough to win or not. But I knew we would respond and play better.
“I think everybody who saw both games can see that there was a difference.”
One of the biggest differences was rebounding.
The Storm grabbed a season-high 48 on Sunday, 10 more than their previous best of 38 in last Tuesday’s 80-65 victory at Phoenix, and 22 more than they had on Friday against the Silver Stars.
In addition to Thompson’s 11 and Little’s 10, guard Noelle Quinn had a career-high 11.
San Antonio finished with 32 rebounds.
“Their ability to get 15 offensive rebounds that was something we talked about before the game, but that had a lot to do with (the outcome), Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said.
“Neither team shot the ball very well (Seattle hit 44.9 percent, San Antonio 33.3 percent), but they got extra opportunities.”
After trailing for the entire game on Friday, the Storm were up by as many as 17 points on Sunday, the last time at 45-28 with 8:01 left in the third quarter.
Seattle then missed its next eight shots, and the Silver Stars got as close as eight points at 47-39 before the Storm stretched it back to 11 at 56-45 going into the final 10 minutes.
The Storm couldn’t get the lead back to double digits in the fourth quarter. But San Antonio never came closer than three points at 66-63 on a lay-in by Appel with 13.8 seconds left.
The teams traded the lead nine times in the first quarter. The last of those lead changes came with 1:47 left when a shot by Thompson put the Storm on top 16-15, and they never trailed again.
“I thought we came out in the second half and showed a lot of poise to turn around how we had been playing,” Appel said. “If we would’ve come out and played two halves, it would have been our game.”
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)