Storm routs Mercury

  • Associated Press
  • Thursday, June 3, 2004 9:00pm
  • Sports

SEATTLE – It was a forgettable first half for Lauren Jackson and the Seattle Storm, but they made up for it in a big way after the break.

The Storm outscored the Phoenix Mercury 50-22 in the second half, and Jackson led the way by finishing with 15 points in their 72-45 win Thursday night.

“The story of the two halves is simple,” said Seattle’s Sue Bird, who finished with 16 points. “It was all Lauren. When she’s on, it makes everything easy for all of us.”

The dominating performance by the Storm (3-2) in the final 20 minutes helped them snap a two-game losing streak and ended Phoenix’s three-game winning streak.

After missing her only field goal attempt in the first half, Jackson scored nine points in the first 3:48 of the second half. She finished making 7 of 11 from the field and extended her streak of double-digit scoring to 58 games.

In the locker room at the half, Jackson was more unhappy about her team being down than her lack of offense.

“I really didn’t want to lose to Phoenix again,” Jackson said, “because we’re a better team than them.”

Phoenix (3-2) topped Seattle 84-76 last Friday.

“Seattle was desperate to win, there’s no question about that” Mercury coach Carrie Graf said. “They played with a lot of energy. We struggled offensively the whole game. You have to give Seattle credit. They blew us off the floor.”

Diana Taurasi, the first overall pick of the 2004 draft, didn’t score for the first 13 minutes of the game and finished with six points on 3 of 10 shooting for the Mercury. She entered the game averaging 20.8 points a game.

“I don’t like to forget games like this because it’s part of you,” Taurasi said. “We just need to take a hard look at what we didn’t do well and what we did do well.

“I got some good looks, but I wasn’t in the flow of things.”

Betty Lennox led Seattle with 17 points. Anna DeForge made three 3-pointers and led the Mercury with 12 points.

Phoenix’s 45 points were 21 less than its previous low for the season.

The Mercury went on an 18-8 run late in the first half and led 23-22 at the break. It was an ugly half as the teams combined for 24 turnovers. In the second half, the Storm only turned it over five times.

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