score: Storm 75 Sparks 67 (W) (9-8)
by | NewSocks
to Staples Center early as usual. Went into FSGrill and met
up with “Lucky” and gave her some beads in Sparks
colors that I had and an old Sparks patch that I found in
some boxes when packing. It’s kind of cool that she
watches the door for me when the Storm are playing. She got
all teary when I gave her that stuff and we talked about our
teams. She is a pretty cool lady. I call her Lucky because
she is on oxygen, in a wheel chair and goes outside and smokes.
Lucky because she hasn’t blown herself up yet.
Ok, enough of the schmoopy stuff.
I looked at the team warming up on the court and did a quick
survey. No LJ. #$@$%!! I felt my heart sink. Mostly because
she is my all-time favorite player, but because at that point
I didn’t like the teams chances against a stronger,
more rallied, home court playing, winning streak owning Sparks
team. I just hoped it wouldn’t be a blowout. BT had
a shin wrap on her shin a-la LJ and while stretching, I noticed
there wasn’t much talking between the team.
I’ll never doubt this team’s ability again.
Mobility isn’t in my cards right now, but I was able
to make it over to the tunnel before Sue got there. I was
on the opposite side of the autograph clump of people so when
she came over to sign my WCC hat, I had her to myself. So
I said, “Eighteen points last night, Sue. How’d
that feel?” She got a big ass grin on her face and said
it was awesome. I said, “Feels like home cooking…
sleeping in your own bed… warm cookies…new sock
and shoes?” She cracked up and said, “ohhhh yeah.
It felt like that.” I told her to keep up the good work
and let it all come to her. I asked her about LJ. She got
a sad look on her face and said, “She’s sick.”
I asked her if it was the shins and she nodded.
BT came by and signed the hat. I said, “SEVEN assists
last night!! Nice game.” Big ole smile out of her. “I’m
trying!” I told her to keep doing what she’s been
doing and that we appreciate her being here this season.
Wedgie and Cisti came by next. None of the autograph people
on the other side asked for them to sign anything. So they
stopped on my side and talked to me. Wedgie said she was excited
to play this game tonight. Happy that France got through in
the WC. I told Cisti she had a good game against San Antonio
and praised her for the fortitude she showed on going back
in there against Feenstra and fighting to get that shot off
after getting blocked…over and over. Wedgie laughed
and nudged her. (Must have taken some ribbing over that event
already or something) Cisti just shook her head and smiled.
“She’s tough. She was pissed and didn’t
want me scoring on her apparently.”
Izzy came by and was all smiles. I asked her about Brazil
in the WC. She went on and on about how great they were doing.
It was pretty funny.
Missy B came by and I asked her about LJ. Not only not playing,
but didn’t even travel with the team. L
Janel came by and signed the hat. I said, “Looks like
you have some extra work to do tonight.” She looked
up and said, “ohhhh yeah. It’s gonna be tough
in th… HEY! You’re wearing my jersey! That’s
so cool. Thank you.” I told her I’ve worn it for
3 seasons now and she was all happy. I told her it was all
about the black socks and she just laughed. “I like
black socks.” Yeah, me too JB. I told her (who knew
this was a foreshadow) “just get LL to foul out the
first 30 seconds of the game and the rest will be cake.”
JB said, “Great idea” but you could tell she knew
she was going into a brutal battle.
Betty came by, but it was late and she couldn’t sign
anything. She said to stay there and she would get us on the
There were some nice fans around us. Actually, much to my
surprise, it was the most pleasant experience we have had
as far as Sparks fan interaction in the whole time I have
been going to games. Our only negative event was when some
chick was coming down the stairs in our aisle. DS had his
LJ away game jersey on and this lady was going by and said
*cough*Jackson sucks*cough* and did it twice. DS just looked
at her like yeah, whatever. She said to DS, “oh dude
come on, lighten up.” He said “No, I’m fine.
I just never saw someone drop their class right in front of
The Sparks have some weird ass warm up methods. Most teams
stay on their side of the court, but it looked like a few
times they came over onto the Storm side of the court and
was just getting in the way.
Holdsclaw never seems to get the memo on what clothes to wear
for warm-ups. This is the second time I’ve seen her
in so many games that she has come out with different warm
ups than the rest of the team.
Looking over to press row I spy Jayda Evans looking quite
stylish in a sweet jacket. Very chic!
Looking down on radio row I notice there is no David Locke.
Elise and Dick will be doing the play by play and I really
wish I could hear their calls.
So they are testing the horns in the arena and the 24 second
clock sounds like a cow with a cold. I mean really, what the
hell is that?
The second horn, the game horn comes right after it and sounds
like the first horn after the cow cleared its throat..
Moore and Holdsclaw play some weird warm-up game where they
flick the ball back and forth at each other and not let the
ball hit the ground. That part I understand. What I don’t
understand is Holdsclaw doing some freaky ballet move in between.
I mean if something in this building is unnatural, this is
it. Maybe it was the extreme uncoordination… I dunno.
Looking around, this place is EMPTY.. Even for the typical
“arrive fashionably late” LA crowd.
DS goes up to the concourse to get some food. He notices (in
his words) this big black dude that is the size of a house
that is all muscles and a head. DS sees this guy eyeballing
him and finally the guy says to DS, “hey come over here.”
DS said he thought to himself, “oh man, this is gonna
hurt” but went over anyway. He said the guy reached
forward towards DS’ chest and DS reached up and grabbed
the guys arm. The guy said, “chill dude, I’m just
checking out Lauren Jackson’s jersey. Where did you
get this jersey, man? After DS exhaled, he got into a conversation
with the guy for about 15 mins about women’s play and
the quality of the game. Big Storm fan. Tried many times to
talk DS out of the jersey. Luckily for him, DS came back with
the jersey still on.
Birdy got the big cheer in the intros. There was no booing
during the intros. First time that I can remember.
Ok, then came the intros for the Sparks. Good music and stuff.
But. Then…well the intro film showed the players playing
ball, then the players smiling, waving etc., and the players
dancing was…ok… until they got to LL. I’m
not too certain what it was she was doing. Kind of looked
like someone had dropped ice cubes in her jersey. Scary stuff.
Oh yeah, and everything was synced to the music. The last
thing they showed was the “dunk”. The last note
of the music was a BOOM and some how through the marvels of
modern technology, they made the “dunk” look like
a SLAM dunk. I think they sped up the film clip or something.
No way that ball went down that hard. Hell, it barely rolled
over the rim.
Ok. Game Time.
LA wins the tip and goes down and sets up a play. Mabika goes
to take a jump shot and Betty comes out of no where to block
it. Very nice.
LA scores first, but it wasn’t an easy basket. They
shoot like 3 or 4 more times but they aren’t easy looks.
Defense is tight. If this keeps up and we play offense, we
are going to make this an interesting game.
LA scores again on an LL lay-up. Birdy answers with a 3 and
gets the monkey off her back.
JB is fighting hard under the basket for offensive position
and is constantly open. Pass the ball into the paint for cripes
LL b*tch slaps JB and draws LL’s first foul. Nice. That
one only took about 3 minutes. WTG, JB!
The defense is great so far. Lots of help, good anticipation
and everyone is playing D. My throat already hurts from yelling.
I just realized that Holdsclaw didn’t start this game.
Offense is running the plays all the way through. Nice crisp
passing. No lazy passes. Betty for 3.
Storm lead at the 5 minute mark 9-8. I’m floored as
to what has happened so far. I thought we would be on the
spank by this point, but here we are. I’m starting to
get that good feeling.
Izzy is playing like the Izzy of old. The driving to the lane,
the disruptive defense, the super hustle player we know is
trapped in that body. Izzy pushes the tempo and drives the
lane and nails a pull up jumper. Beautiful!
The Sparks come down the court on a beautiful fast break.
Incredible. The lay-up was missed by someone and ended up
in an incredible scrum under the basket in which I’m
positive some unwanted groping, a couple of kidney punches,
plans for dinner after the game and a couple of phone number
exchanges took place. When it was all over LL was riding J.
B’s back like a piggy back and JB gets called for over
the back! HTF does that happen?
Next offensive play down the floor, LL throws JB to the ground
and gets called for her 2nd foul. Ohhhhyeahbaby!
LL is playing like someone left the toilet seat up one too
many times. Kind of b*tchy. Lots of elbows, standard, but
a lot of pulling and slapping.
Cisti gets into the game. Wow! Anne D is using the entire
bench. It seems like sub after sub after sub. But it’s
working. Cisti goes up for her first points of her WNBA career.
Ugh! Stuffed again. But wait! It was a foul.
Cisti makes her free throws and she can go down in infamy
as scoring in the Dubya.
Cisti is moving bodies under the bucket positioning for rebounds.
Damn, what did these girls eat for breakfast?!
During the timeout, they play a video on the jumbotron and
I learn that they have a fan award program. It’s called
Home Court Advantage. They offer all kinds of stuff. Damn,
it really makes me miss the Hustle Rewards. It’s a points
program, you get 15,000 for signing up and 5,000 when you
go to special events. You take your points and use them at
the HCAvantage store. Some of the things they offered in the
store was Autographed merchandise, 5 day all inclusive cruises,
courtside seats and passes to the chairman’s room, play
a game of horse with your favorite Sparks player, take a picture
with the team, assistant coach for a game, ball kid for a
game and more. Plus they have the instant rewards that are
Izzy was pretty much the difference in the 1st quarter. 4
points, but it was the hustle that pushed the team.
Ok during the next time out, they have the fan cam and they
are putting people or groups that are dancing on the jumbotron.
There is a group of people dancing in the row behind me so
I stand up, grab my Storm finger and begin to move in their
direction. Timing is everything and just as they get on the
big screen the finger goes up and you see both them and the
Storm finger on the screen. Ahhh, sweet delight.
Izzy, Izzy, Izzy. Something good must have happened to Izzy
today. She is playing like she hasn’t played all season.
Froggy, driving hard, super hustle.
DS has my Storm monkey propped up in the chair in front of
him and he is sitting on the aisle. This old lady comes up
the stairs and walks up to him and asks him if she can touch
his monkey. He looks at me and of course I now have no say
in his decisions, so I just shrug. He says to her, you really
want to touch my monkey? “She says I really want to
spank your monkey.” DS looks shocked and yells, “Security!”
They both laugh and the lady continues on. Only in L.A
Holdsclaw doesn’t make her entry into the game until
the 2 minutes left in the first quarter. Strange.
2nd Quarter. We are leading still and have had the lead since
LA lead at 13-11 (last time they would have it). I am expecting
the team to come out and a little slower or a little out of
sorts.. But they don’t. They come out hard.
Passion is the best word I can think of. PASSION, Baby!!
Betty steals the ball from LL and LL proceeds to go down and
commits the frustration foul against BT.
Lawd almighty! That’s 3. WOOT!
Holy crap, on the next drive down to our end of the floor,
BT commits a foul on Mabika and Mabika takes a cheap shove
at BT and no foul was called on that one. Anne D gives Jeff
the ref an earful.
LL must have been pretty pissed still because 9 seconds after
her 3rd foul, she commits her 4th on an offensive foul. (Ok,
to be honest, this probably wasn’t a foul, lol. In fact,
it wasn’t. a foul at all. I actually thought they were
going to ring JB up for this one so when they came out of
the pack with 9 fingers, I told DS, Ohhhhh we just got a real
During the time out, it was Sue and BT that were in the ears
of the players and pumping up the team while the coaches had
their huddle. Nice animated huddle.
Zone D still going well and even though there are some gaps,
the bench is talking to the players on the floor and there
is great help coverage going on. Offense is running through
the entire play. Not just someone getting the ball in their
hands and shooting. (See how nicely that works, BL?)
Izzy gets drilled like three times in the head while trying
to get through the paint but that didn’t stop her from
diving into the scrum on the floor.
We are getting down to about 2 minutes and either we are tired
or all of this is just too good to be true because we are
starting to fall apart. Dumb turnovers, missed assignments,
auuuuuughhh. Don’t let them make a run!!
Coming down the floor coach is calling the play. Betty gets
the ball and the play doesn’t come to completion. Betty
shoots, and misses and Coach D gets pissed. Coach makes a
substitution for Betty and Betty is grumbling as she is coming
off the floor. She passes Coach and says something, Coach
says something back and when Betty comes and sits down, she
is still yapping. Coach folds her lengthy self down in front
of Betty and is talking to her and getting quite animated.
Finally, you can read her lips as she says, “that’s
Apparently, we have a couple of fouls to give at the end of
the half to keep them from easy lay-ups and Sue picks up 2
fouls in 10 seconds.
Then we get the ball and pass pass pass pass pass and the
24 second clock goes off. UGH!!
we start the third the same way we ended the 2nd, we are in
I continue my tradition of bringing an extra foam finger to
the game and giving it away to a Storm fan who is cheering
for the team but has no Storm stuff. I meet a nice couple
who are big UCONN fans and came to see Sue, BT and Jess Moore.
They were so cute during the game because every time something
good would happen for us I would hoot it up nice and loud
and they would turn around and pump their fists in celebration.
They liked the synchronization that DS and I had with the
fingers. Anyway, I’m going to have to order more fingers
now because I’m down to only 2 and one has a safety
pin in it because this game got so stressful at the end I
put my hand through yet another foam finger.
By the look on Coach’s face going into the locker room
at halftime, it was no wonder that the team came out of the
tunnel super late. Like there was only 2:30 left before the
next quarter started.
I tell you what, the first half was all heart and passion.
I hope they have some left in the tank. We are gonna need
The PA announcer calls out the Storm players by first and
last names. He announces the Sparks by first name only. It
sounded so lame. I suppose this is Hollywood after all.
FIFTY-FIVE SECONDS into the 3rd quarter, LL is called for
the offensive foul. Holy Schiznit!! I mean really! HOLY CRAP!!
Whooooooohooooooo!! Now, this foul was called and LL came
running over to the ref like she had found the toilet seat
culprit. She got right up in the refs grill and was arguing
vehemently. How she didn’t get a T at that point I cant
imagine. THEN she wouldn’t give the ball to the ref,
and when the ref wasn’t budging on the call, LL took
the ball with her to the bench and made the motion like she
was going to slam it down, but finally just put it down on
the ground. All this drama and all she got was a stupid delay
of game warning. If the refs would have looked into the stands
they would have seen that DS had already used the FF’s
to T her up. It was so deserving of the T!!
Next play Mabika shoved BT again and coach was going crazy
on the ref.
Ok, Betty has now unloaded for 14 points and she has been
a team player so far.. But here comes Betty Ball Hog. Before
anyone crawls up my ass to defend Betty, let me tell you this.
Yes, she was going off, and yes, she did score an assload
of points. But she didn’t win this game. In fact, I
believe she almost lost this game for us. Here’s why.
When Betty’s shot starts to fall, which it did during
this game, she stops passing. She stops playing defense because
she is looking for her shot. The Sparks made their run and
it was usually the player that BL was supposed to be guarding
who was either setting up other players, or shooting the shots
BL stopped rotating on offense. She stopped moving, she is
just getting to her “spot” and holding her hands
up to get a pass.
My heart is pounding now. I’m starting to see things
unfold for the bad. Defense is starting to falter. Betty lets
Tamika Johnson go right by her and Sue has to come over and
commit the foul to prevent the easy bucket. Sue has to sit
on the bench.
Now, something weird happens. During this time Sue is on the
bench, not only do we hold our own we go on a run. Here we
are with basically our third string in and we are kicking
some butt in there. If nothing else, if we lose at this point,
this run in the 3rd at Staples Center will give the bench
TJ is doing some tough work underneath. Cisti has been a rebounding
monster. BT is aggressive, Shawn is making thing hard for
the Sparks. And then there is Wedgie. She is fast. I don’t
think LA was expecting her to be that aggressive.
Ok, after that run and hold, I am breathing a lot easier.
Ugh, hold that thought. The zone is failing again. We need
TJ (Sparks) is knocked down while driving the lane, no foul.
She gets up and races down the court and on her way back down
for defense pops T with a cheap shot that the refs don’t
By this point, I’m getting a cramp in my text messaging
thumb, lol. *wink*
Did you ever notice that when the players come out, and they
aren’t happy when they get pulled from the game they
go down the bench slapping hands and somehow the hardest slap
is the last one? Poor Anne Marie!
Tiffani Johnson is moving that butt of hers to clear major
space in the paint. Work thatass, girl.
Ok. Now T Wright needs to stop something and stop it soon.
When she makes up her mind to go into the paint or make a
shot she needs to just do it. She has got this little fakey
thing going on. Most of the time, people are falling for the
fakey, but she should pay attention to the player, because
she isn’t thinking they are going to buy it and she
ends up doing a herkie jerkie time wasting move. And for crying
in the sink, don’t do the fakey every time. That’s
lame. That’s the whole point of a fakey in the first
Christie Thomas dealt a nasty foul on Betty. Betty doesn’t
look too pleased about it, lol.
Wedgie nails a 3 pointer which you can feel the air deflate
from the building. Yeah Wedgie!!
Ok. 4th quarter. 60-45.
We are up by 15. It’s not enough. This is L.A. We are
in LA. We are doing ok, but we have no LJ.
Betty starts off the 4th with a really bad pass. Anne is not
happy and is shaking her head. Anne actually spends most of
this 4th quarter switching between shaking her head and wringing
her hands in frustration over Betty’s play, to clapping
for a shot that she made.
Every Sparks foul comes with some lip service to the refs.
It’s getting old.
You know someone is going to go off in the 4th for LA. They
Muriel Page hit’s a jumper. 60-47. Ugh, it’s not
Betty answers with a jumper. 62-47. 15 points is not enough.
Another bad BL pass and thankfully they don’t score
off of it.
8 minutes left and while this is going to sound like I’m
ripping, I’m not. It becomes amplified, and apparent
that Betty wants to take over and has every intention of doing
so. But at what cost. She has stopped playing defense. She
is driving into the lane and taking shots she should have
passed. She gets blocked on a shot and there are 3 players
open. I’m starting to panic because LA is figuring this
out about the same time I am. No rotation on offense. All
she is doing is standing there on offense waiting for someone
to pass her the ball. She goes in again and gets her shot
blocked again. Shoot miss. No pass. Come on Betty!!!
LL comes back in and comes down the floor for a really nice
reverse lay-up. 62-49
7:30 left. A fricken eternity!
Every tick of the clock seems to take 30 seconds.
People shooting, no one’s hitting. That’s ok.
Time’sticking off the clock.
Betty driving the lane. Come on Betty… YES!! 64-49
6:30 left Bird gets subbed out for Wedgie.
I don’t feel so good.
The Spark Kids come out with white towels for their routine.
DS looks at me and said now THAT’S a good sign.
In the middle of my feeling like I’m gonna hurl we get
informed we won the post game autograph session for our section.
Don’t tell me this stuff right now, I. DON’T.
Claw comes right out of the timeout and hit’s a jumper
Oh God, I cant breathe.
Anne not pleased and takes Betty out. Betty not pleased. Hell,
I’m not pleased. Even the monkey looks worried.
Holdsclaw again. 68-55. 13 points. It’s not enough.
I must’ve asked DS half a dozen times what is the point
spread, what’s the point spread?
He passed out 2 jump shots ago.
Hodges-Lewis nails one almost uncontested. Pissy Anne calls
a 20! 68-57.
I use my fingers and figure that’s only 9. I feel my
eyes begin to burn.
The team takes forever to come out of the time out and has
to be called by the refs 3 times. I’m fearing the technical.
We come out and run a play. TJ throws one out to Birdy and
she hit’s the shot .. AND ONE MF’r.!!
I order up a defibulator.
4:01 to go.
My phone is going crazy. I misspell every word possible in
my last text message.
71-57. For some reason that score looks better with a 7 and
a 5. I’m fooling myself.
BT drives in and makes a lay-up. 3:15 left 73-57
It’s tough in the paint and LL comes out whining and
showing the refs her arms. The refs stop a jump ball to go
over to JB and tell her something about LL. JB rolls her eyes
shakes her hands like “WHATEVER, LET’S GO!!
Betty fouls Tamara Moore who hits both FT’s 73-61 2:55
left. Too much time
I can’t breathe.
TJ misses a shot and Claw gets the rebound passes it to Page
who misses the shot.
2:21 left and I wonder if my will is up to date.
Someone rebound for crying out loud!
Betty finally rebounds and the play runs and runs and runs
and the shot clock winds down to 3 and Birdy lets one go….
A miss. But flying in for the rebound is JB! OH GOD!
We take another 20 seconds off the clock and they get TJ for
traveling. 1:30 left.
Sparks ball. Holdclaw, who can kill a team by herself has
the ball and lets one fly. Missed. Birdy flies in for the
rebound (sorry). We run the clock again and I remember to
exhale. Birdy shoots and misses and LL gets it and runs down
for a shot and misses and Claw rebounds and shoots and misses
LL gets the rebound and shoots and JB clocks her but good.
LL makes both of her free throws and its only a 10 point lead.
Storm ball. Betty comes down and tries to shoot immediately.
Coach pops T off the bench to go sub Betty. I think she has
had just enough. The only problem is is that Betty got fouled
and is at the line. T cant go in.
Betty makes her FT’s
I think I lose my bodily functions, but I just spilled part
of my soda.
Turnover, we get the ball again, time is winding down and
Betty is trying to drive the paint again, slams into the trees,
travels, no call, she tries again, same thing, travels even
worse, the whole place is going crazy and the refs finally
call jump ball. JUMP BALL??
Anne D is shaking her head.
Jump ball. Moore scores.
After the game, I make it to the tunnel as the players are
coming off and get some high 5’s but the best part was
seeing the coaching staff waiting for them at the tunnel entrance
for the players. They didn’t go to the locker room,
they were waiting, and they were GIDDY, YELLING Whoohoos for
their hard working players. They were stoked!! It was awesome
We went to the autograph session afterwards. I talked with
Sic-ko and watched as she freaked Jessica Moore out by putting
an old UCONN magazine in front of her. Holdsclaw made fun
Said hi to Dick and Elise on the way out, they were still
buzzing from the win.
Some old dude handed me media guides from both teams because
he “didn’t feel like throwing them away”
Sorry this took so long to submit.
I could explain it to you, but NOT giving you the details
was part of the deal I struck with the Deputy District Attorney.