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6/09/07 vs Minnesota

Final score: Storm 84 – Comets 71 (W) (5-4)

Attendance | 7756

Anthem Watch | A couple of Seattle Police officers doing a duet. At the risk of ensuring a future of endless tickets and citations — ladies, keep your day jobs.

Fan Psyche | Why aren't we burying them?

Game Highlight | LJ in full domination mode.

Halftime | Dads and Daughters bball skill test.

SF.O Keyword of the Game | Butterfingers (and I don't mean the candy bar).

Game Photos | Scott L | Rick | Scott E

The Storm HAD to win this game and it was a little unsettling that it seemed so hard a task to complete.

Houston is finally getting a taste of what the rest of the league has had to live through for season upon season — losing, disappointment and frustration. They are a team that is down right now and it's only fitting that their opponents do to them what they took great delight in doing to us over the years. Kicking the Comets when they're down comes with a certain measure of danger, at least right now — being the first team that they beat.

I think the Storm were a little tight tonight because they were a little worried about being that first team. Also, with Barb Turner's first return to the Key after being dropped like a hot rock during training camp, I'm sure the Storm were waiting to see what would happen just like the rest of us.

Well, the answer to "What Would Barb Do?" was "Not a whole lot." She didn't torch the Storm. She didn't light up the stat box at all really. Personally, I was hoping for some sort of fireworks just so those of us who think cutting her was wrong could have something to point to and say, "See!" No fireworks erupted, although she did get a technical foul in the second half — for what, no one is sure.

In the real scope of things, it's wrong to see Coach Donovan's roster moves as a direct trade off between Barb and Fluker/Ely. The person who really replaced Barb in the rotation is Katie Gearlds. She too had a quiet game, but I think most of us agree that Katie will be a consistent scorer... soon. I don't know that she would be getting the same minutes she's getting if Barb were still on the team and the one thing that is going to push Katie's development along is playing time. Barb got a raw deal, no doubt, but Katie's scoring and well-rounded ability is something we need. Coach D isn't getting a pass from me, but I understand her thinking.

Storm turnovers, slack (at times) interior defense and no real answer for Maiga-Ba allowed the Comets to keep the game close through the first two and a half quarters. All of that and the fact that the Storm couldn't keep their hands on the ball. Time after time after time, the ball would ping pong off of three Storm players hands and end up with one of the Comets' players. It wasn't until the third quarter that the Storm really started to pull away and build their eventual 18-point lead. With a little more ball control, it would have been a full-on blowout.

The high points of the game were watching LJ go crazy for another 30 point game and Betty finally seem to get some of her offense going. There were a couple of possessions where she held onto the ball too long and got into trouble, but she was also getting fouls called and hit on all 9 of her free throw attempts.

For Houston, it was mostly all bad and it's pretty clear that Tina Thompson isn't taking the losing streak very well at all. She's normally one player who is constantly yapping at the refs. Tonight, she was on them every play, after the play, during timeouts, during the half, and every other spare minute she was on the floor. If you ever want to see a player getting star treatment and being allowed to do things other players would get technical fouls for, just watch Tina Thompson. How she's not leading the league in T's and ejections I have no idea. It is frankly disappointing that a player of her talent resorts to trying to intimidate the refs to get her way.

And oh yeah, the refs.

Two words for you: Roy. Gulbeyan. He pulled something tonight that had me totally speechless. It was during the second quarter. The Comets had the ball and were setting up a play with the Storm on defense. Roy was on the sideline near the half court line. The new ref, Kogut I think, was on the baseline. Before the ball ever made it into the post player, Roy was pointing at Kogut to call a foul on Janell. Sure enough, as soon as Snow got the ball and Janell went up to guard her, Kogut called a foul. Just so I'm clear, Roy told Kogut to call a foul on Janell BEFORE SHE DID ANYTHING. Karen Bryant was livid. Half the crowd on our side was up and screaming at Roy. I wish I had a video camera because it was almost too much to believe. It's frightening to think that Roy is the one training the new refs. I don't think the league can stand more than one of him.

The Storm won the game the were supposed to win and the Comets suck. Not a bad night.

Other notes:

Tonight was Dads and Daughters night, so there were assorted Sonics and Seahawks players with their daughters at the game. The timeout and halftime activities were also D&D themed. They did one of those shooting contests for one timeout and the score was horribly lopsided. Something like 9-1. Not as embarrassing as 29-4, but still bad. For the halftime, various famous fathers played against various daughters in a skills contest. The daughters won and I think John Curley hurt himself. I got photos of that.

Fluker didn't play at all. She did continue her dance moves with the dance troupe during the player intros.

Byears was consistently booed during the game — mostly be me. She also started jawing with some fans who were sitting under the north basket. I also heard that she flipped off section 113, although that might have been partially my fault along with Leighway and BirdJackVodka. The three of us were in a flipoff-off before the game and I think Byears got caught in the crossfire and thought it was directed at her. Works for me.

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