Opponent: Los Angeles Sparks
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles
Radio: KTPK 1090 AM
The Seattle Storm are winners of six of seven games, but seem to be losing ground in the competitive Western Conference. That's because the San Antonio Silver Stars are winners of six straight and have gone from 4-5 to 10-5 and into a virtual tie for second place in the conference with the Los Angeles Sparks.
The Sparks are the Storm's opponent today and so far this season, Seattle hasn't had much success against its conference rival, dropping all three games the teams have played.
But this Storm team is different than the one that struggled to a 1-7 start to the season. The offseason roster changes are beginning to pay off as the team has found a rhythm. And as always, Seattle hangs its hat on defense.
The Storm have a chance today to get to .500 for just the second time this season. They had the same opportunity last weekend against New York, but lost to the Liberty on the road.
A Storm win over the Sparks would move San Antonio into the No. 2 spot in the West and drop Los Angeles to No. 3. While the playoffs are still quite a ways off, if you are thinking about first-round playoff matchups, the Storm have had more success against San Antonio this season than they have against Los Angeles.
However, if the Storm can continue to play the way they have in recent weeks, they might be able to capture one of the top two seeds in the West. Going into today's game, the Storm trailed San Antonio and Los Angeles by just three games for the No. 2 seed and Minnesota, which has lost two straight, by 51/2 games for the top seed.
If the Storm are going to continue their recent success, they'll have to find an answer for L.A. center Candace Parker, who was recently named the WNBA's Western Conference Player of the Month for June. Parker is averaging 19.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
In the past, the Storm have proven they can slow down Parker's offensive game, but guard Kristi Toliver has proven to be just as big a thorn in their side. In three games against the Storm this season, Toliver is averaging 22 points, well above her season average of 16.8.
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