score: Storm 70 Sparks 71 (L) (14-14)
Watch | Didn't hear it.
Psyche | She was going to drive and pass back
out, right? RIGHT?
Highlight | LJ big time and in big pain.
| A juggler dude.
Keyword of the Game | Three! We need a...
will most probably be replaying the last few seconds of this
game in her mind for the rest of her life.
she not know what the score was and that we needed a three
to tie, not a layup? Did she think she could get a foul with
the clock running down, something that rarely if ever happens?
Did someone on the bench not make sure that everyone knew
what to do if Moore made either of her two free throws?
matter how you cut it or where you want to lay the blame,
somewhere along the line there was a major breakdown in communication
for the Storm. It certainly looked like Betty's only thought
was drive hard to the basket. At some point in the final timeout,
taken by LA with 7 seconds left with the Sparks up by two,
the team had to have talked about what to do once they put
one of the Sparks on the line. The Storm had a couple fouls
to give, so it wasn't until TJ fouled Moore with 6 seconds
left that the Sparks were shooting free throws.
where the communication failure happened. The Sparks were
already up by two before the Storm started fouling. With any
made free throws, the Storm would be down by at least three.
Unless Moore missed both and the Storm rebounded, the Storm
would need at least a three to tie.
missed the first and hit the second. The Storm inbounded and
Betty went flying down the court. When she crossed the three-point
line and started driving towards the basket, everyone was
expecting her to pass it back to Sue (or whoever it was behind
her) standing at the three-point line.
she took the shot, made it and started to celebrate as if
she thought the Storm were only down by two and she had tied
the game. She even caught the Sparks off guard. They looked
around at each other like they suddenly weren't sure they
had just won the game. Betty was so certain with her drive
and immediate celebratory reaction at having made the basket
that everyone had to do a double take on the scoreboard. We
all hadn't hallucinated that made Moore free throw —
game over and the Sparks win by one.
final 6 seconds aside, I wish the new owners had been here
for this game. Not only did this team again play with a ton
of heart and determination, the crowd was totally into it
and it was almost like we were back in '04 again.
this isn't '04 and this isn't the same team. Try as the Storm
might, they simply could not catch and take the lead from
the Sparks. Every time the Storm would get defensive stops
or get the game close, the Sparks would find agonizingly easy
ways to score baskets. If you had a device that could measure
effort, the Storm would have had the thing pegged in the red
all night long while the Sparks would have spiked a couple
of times but would have mainly been coasting in the green.
getting old to be saying this kind of thing as we're all looking
for silver linings, but the fact is that the Storm was in
this game the whole way. The Sparks are the league's dominant
team right now. Hate them or love them, you have to give them
that. But even as bandaged up and fatigued as the Storm players
are, they were right there with the league's best the entire
was no third quarter disappearing act. There were no double
digit leads. Scoring runs were answered with defensive pressure.
The Sparks were forced into 3 or 4 shot clock violations.
Statistically, the game was almost dead even. The biggest
discrepancy was with the Storm's three-point shooting, a dismal
Storm got the calls, shot two technicals, got the Sparks in
the penalty early and often and outrebounded the Sparks, which
on its own has to be a minor miracle. Even with all that,
plus no Mabika due to a suspension, the Storm just didn't
have the gas to take control of the game.
the "if only" world, give us a healthy Janell, a
healthy Palmer, or even just a healthier LJ and this game
would have been ours. The tale of this season might end up
being summed up with three words — injury-ridden frustration
— because the players and coaches have to know that
with a little more luck, it would have been the Storm sitting
on top of the West instead of the Sparks.
other notes tonight.