score: Storm 70 Lynx 58 (W) (1-0)
4277 (um... yeah, right. Maybe half that).
Watch | Wow. A gospel-style chorus that gave
us all goosebumps.
Psyche | Somebody shut those 5 Seattle fans
Highlight | The bench finding a way to claw
back into the game in the first half with LJ and Betty on
the bench, the whole team acting like they owned this game
all the way through, LJ taking over and pushing us into the
double digit lead, Sheri with a near triple-double, Chelle
hitting some huge baskets...
| Fans shooting for a free flight pass on
Sun Country Air (I'd just take a pass period).
| Svet was getting a little floppy, but nothing
really jumped out, or fell back.
Keyword of the Game | Brick!
Photos | Game Photos (Scott
first ever playoff win and it comes on the road.
was simply a great game for the Storm, from top to bottom.
I don't know if you could see it through the TV, but the Storm's
demeanor during the whole game was one of complete confidence.
They never got rattled even when the Lynx put together a mini
run during the first half on Svet's drives and Lassiter's
Storm came out of the gate looking sharp and playing aggressively
— maybe a bit too aggressively as LJ picked up 3 fouls
in the first four minutes and had to sit down for the rest
of the half. One of those was a legitimate foul, the other
two were very shaky at best. It was amazing how many fouls
Ohlde was able to get on the Storm and how many she wasn't
called for. I don't even think the Diva gets that kind of
kid-glove treatment from the refs.
other fear-inducing moment came when Svet clocked Betty hard
enough to rip Betty's headband off. No foul was called, of
course — not with the three numbskulls we had reffing
— and Betty had to come out. It looked like Abrosimova
had wrenched Betty's neck was she hit her. Betty got playing
time in the second half, but she was off her game and was
getting neck stretching during every time out.
down the stretch of the first half the Storm were without
two of their main offensive producers and the Lynx took advantage.
The Storm were stuck on 15 points for what seemed forever
(4.5 minutes, but I had to cheat and look at the play-by-play
to get that) while the Lynx caught up, got the Storm in foul
trouble and took the lead.
Storm dug in and kept their composure behind some great defense
from Kamila, Sheri and Sue. Throw in a couple key bench baskets
from Simone and Adia and suddenly the Storm were surging back
- with LJ on the bench looking like she was ready to spit
Lynx came out at the beginning of the second half and got
a couple easy baskets off of Storm turnovers. Again, credit
the Storm for keeping their cool. They took the Lynx's push
and kept on executing on both ends of the court — denying
the three-point shot from the Lynx guards and swarming Ohlde
as often as they could when she got the ball in the post.
They didn't bring the double- or triple-teams fast enough
often enough and she was still able to get into her groove
and hit from right under the basket. The Storm let her get
away with that 3 or 4 times early in the second half, but
really put the clamps on as the game wore on. I think there
were two key possessions in a row in which she went in and
tried to do her spin to the middle and was met by LJ, Kamila/Janell
and Sheri who were able to force Ohlde into turnovers or severly
altered her shot.
were able to get away with focusing on Ohlde because the rest
of the Lynx weren't really doing much at all. Teresa Edwards
may have lit up the Storm in the last game played here in
Minnesota, but not tonight. The only other Lynx player who
was able to produce consistently was Tamika Williams. I would
say about half of her baskets came off of rebounds or just
being in the right place for Storm turnovers right under the
Lynx basket (there were a couple of those in the second half).
Storm, on the other hand, were getting great production from
everyone — all the players got time on the court and
all of them scored. True, we only had a couple players in
double figures, but it didn't matter since so many of the
bench players came in, scored and took the pressure off the
starters. The story of this game has to be the way the team
responded to losing LJ in the first half to fouls. They all
came through, some in small ways that may not make the stat
sheet — Tully swarming over the Lynx guards, Chelle
moving without the ball and forcing the Lynx to guard her,
Sue for bouncing back after getting nailed again by a tough
screen (and rubbing the bridge of her nose the rest of the
game — what is it with getting hit on the nose this
season?), Simone yelling for the ball on offense and hitting
when she got it, Sheri was everywhere and was not giving up
on any rebound, Michelle getting one minute and finding a
way to get 2 points, Betty for helping to keep Svet and Lassiter
under control in the second half even though it looked like
it hurt to turn her head to the right, Adia who also worked
her defensive magic to frustrate the Lynx forwards especially
Svet, Janell who got dinged repeatedly for offensive fouls
but keeping her head in the game and making the paint a no-fly-zone
for the Lynx in the second half, Kamila who worked harder
than anyone trying to keep Ohlde and Williams out of the paint
(and who had to come out more than once to wipe blood off
her hands), and finally LJ who once she got back in the game
took it straight at the Lynx forwards and made them pay.
was just about the best way the Storm could have won this
game and it was heartening to see the Lynx fans, what few
there were, filing out of the stands with a couple minutes
left on the clock. After seeing how Sacramento played against
LA yesterday, I was getting a little worried about potentially
facing them in the second round, if the Storm are fortunate
enough to advance. I'm not anymore. The Storm have a fire
in their eyes and confidence in their hearts and they are
playing great ball.
first playoff win ever and it was one of the most satisfying
wins as well. See you Monday for game 2.
we got into the arena, it was amazingly empty. We did what
we always do — go in when they open the doors so we
can watch the shoot around. I was a little shocked that even
with 20 minutes left until game time, there were fewer people
in the stands than there are 5 minutes after the KeyArena
doors open. This is the playoffs people.
were also a little dismayed to find out that our seats were
next to the Lynx bench. We did get to be there while the Storm
warmed up, so they got to see that they had some support in
the stands (and most of them came over to say hello and thank
us for being there). I also got to play the part of the high-five
kid tunnel as the Storm came back out of the locker room immediately
before the game (I was sitting right next to the basket) and
got high fives from the whole team — cool. We decided
though to see if the people on the other end might not trade
with us so we could be on the Storm bench side. They did,
so we go to move and be right next to the Storm. Thanks a
ton to the fans who traded with us.
made it my goal to be as loud as possible for all the Lynx
free throws and I think I may have actually succeeded in getting
them to flinch at first. In the first half, they were on offense
on our side of the court, so I was able to stand up and yell
"Brick!" with my little yellow megaphone for every
free throw. I was 3 for 4 for the first 4 shots - meaning
they missed 3 times. Later, I think I had less effect and
then when the second half rolled around I was sure that I
wouldn't have any effect at all. Well, that place was so quiet
I think I was able to get Helen Darling to flinch and miss
her first free throw. After that, Shed, Scowl, Leighway and
the Lurker joined in and we yelled as a group the rest of
the way. The Lynx got used to us, I think, because they started
hitting their shots. We, or I, were pissing off the fans behind
us. One total jerk came up behind me in the second half and
screamed right in my ear. He wasn't trying to yell and get
the Storm player to miss, he only wanted to scream as loud
as he could in my ear. Loser. If you don't like us coming
into your arena and making noise, try returning the favor
by coming to Seattle instead of trying to burst my eardrum.
Nice example for your little girl that was sitting with you.
Anyway, we never stopped and hopefully had an impact. The
Storm bench was cracking up and giving us thumbs-up signs.
also got high fives before the game from Coach Donovan once
she noticed us, Coach Boucek, Karen Bryant and got to say
hello to Michelle Marciniak. They all seemed surprised to
see Seattle fans. They better get used to it because we're
going to be at every road playoff game. Period.
Target Center is a nice arena, much nicer than Arco, America
West or Staples even.
Garnett and Wally Szerbiak (sp?) were both in the stands.
Kevin was courtside across from the Storm bench and Wally
was behind the Storm bench a few rows with his wife and baby.
It was kind of humorous to see him lugging a baby bag around.
the Lynx mascot, was paying a lot of attention to us and trying
to have some fun. He tried scaring the Lurker and Shed with
a big rubber spider on a fishing rod, but the Lurker grabbed
it and accidentally broke the rod. Poor mascot...
for the jerk who screamed in my ear, the Lynx fans were decent
and seemed to be willing to have fun with us, yelling back
and forth. We'll see if any of them make the trek for game
LJ had a piece of black tape on her upper arm in honor of
her grandmother's recent passing. I think it might be an appropriate
sign of support for us to all wear black armbands on Monday
A couple of Simone notes. While we were waiting to go in to
the seating area, a man walked up and started talking to us
because we were wearing Seattle gear. It turns out he was
one of Simone's professors in college at Iowa and has kept
up with her career since, including being there for her surgeries
early on. He said that one of his best memories was the first
time he saw her play at Madison Square Garden. It was packed
and there were little boys wearing jerseys with women's names
on the back, including black women's names. He said that as
someone who worked hard for change (he looked to be in his
50s or so), it was an amazing sight to see how far things
had come. We pressed him for Simone college day stories. He
joked that saying anything would be breaking NCAA rules. Nice
second Simone note. After LJ was benched with 3 early fouls,
Coach Donovan had to go to the bench early — maybe a
little too early for Simone who apparently didn't expect to
see any action today. She forgot to put on her jersey top
and couldn't go in when AD called her up. She rushed back
into the locker room and put it on. The other benchies were
really busting her chops over it, although I didn't see Coach
Donovan get after her about it — that will come later