SEATTLE – Yolanda Griffith scored 19 points and grabbed 16 rebounds Tuesday night as the Sacramento Monarchs defeated the Seattle Storm 72-62 in the regular-season finale for both teams.
The Monarchs (20-12) will face the Utah Starzz in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs that begin later this week.
Griffith had her 18th double-double of the season. She was 8-for-9 from the field and also blocked three shots. Tangela Smith and Kedra Holland-Corn also scored 13 points each for Sacramento.
Seattle was without Lauren Jackson, who missed the last two games with a sore right shoulder. The Storm finished (10-22). Stacey Lovelace and Jamie Redd led Seattle with 14 points each. Simone Edwards added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Storm.
Seattle went 4 1/2 minutes without scoring a point after closing to 54-51 on Lovelace’s basket with 7:50 remaining in the game.
Holland-Corn’s 3-pointer had given the Monarchs a 44-32 lead with 15:50 left but the Storm rallied with Griffith sitting out the next six minutes with foul trouble. Seattle closed to 54-51 with 7:50 left in the game but the rally stalled and the Storm went 4 1/2 minutes without scoring a point.
In the first half, Sacramento led by as many as 15 points. The Storm, led by Lovelace’s eight points, trimmed the deficit to 37-30 at halftime.
Jackson, who was the Storm’s leading rebounder and scorer, will have surgery on her shoulder in the next few weeks at home in Australia.
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