With precious few games remaining in the WNBA season, each game the Seattle Storm plays is important in their quest to secure the second seed in the Western Conference.
Tonight the Storm face the Sparks in the tail end of a home-and-home matchup between the two teams. The Storm took the first game on Sunday, 65-63 at KeyArena. Sue Bird’s clutch free throws with 1.6 seconds remaining proved to be the difference.
The Sparks aren’t a team to be taken lightly. Los Angeles trails the San Antonio Silver Stars by 11/2 in for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Sparks played with a playoff desperation on Sunday, especially in the fourth quarter when they erased an eight-point deficit to tie the score at 63.
Still, the Storm survived.
Tonight’s game is just as important for Seattle. A loss, accompanied by a Phoenix Mercury win over the Tulsa Shock, would send the Storm back into third place in the West.
After Sunday’s victory, Bird talked about playing the Sparks twice in three days.
“We’ll just try to learn from this game,” Bird said. “It was tough. We had opportunities to go up 10 and maybe extend that lead and I think they were able to get back into the game. Hopefully we can learn from this, see what worked, see what didn’t, and I know they’re going to be doing the same thing. I think it is going to be another battle.”
Forward Camille Little said after the game that the Storm have to move on quickly.
“Today we won, but it’s over now,” Little said. They’re going to watch this film just like we’re going to and they’re going to make changes and adjustments and we have to do the same thing. We have to get prepared and get rested. We have to go into the game with the mentality that it’s going to be a tough one and make sure we’re in position to win the game.”
By Aaron Lommers, Herald Writer