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Final score: Storm 79 – Sparks 75 (W) (7-1)

Box Score | Jayda's Game Blog | psheehy's Game Blog

Submitted by | DwgsStormFan

Back from LA! Well how much fun was that? Seeing the Storm take it to the Sparks time after time after time on their "court". I put it in quotes because they moved the Sparks wood to this tennis stadium and we were in the stands watching it. Kind of cool.

There were about 30 of us there, including 3 of the owners, and their entourage. For much of the time we were more vocal than the Sparks fans, but that was because our women were taking it to them ... most of the game.

Amazing how much "Let's go Sparks can sound like Let's go Storm".

We were sitting next to Stalker, across the aisle from the owners, Karen, and group. It was a cool night, but not too bad for t-shirts if one was so-inclined. There was a stink in the air. When I got off the bus I could smell this horrible tar kind-of smell in the air, and thought "are we near the La Brea Tarpits"? And there was a haze and almost smokiness in the air over the stadium. Stalker called up her trusty blackberry, blueberry, whatever cool device she has that we don't, and it seems there was a fire at some site not too far from the stadium - tires were burning. All I could think of was our girls - how can they play in it with their lungs sucking down tar/tire-smelling smoke. If it bothered them, and I'm sure it did, they certainly put the pedal to the medal early.

I turned to Stalker in the first quarter when the score was something like 21 - 8, and said if our girls keep this up, there will be no way that LA will be able to recover. Ok, so I was a bit premature.

Thank goodness for Sue and her 3-pt raining performance to continue to keep us out in front, and when we would need it, it seemed as Svetty and Camille were right there to put up a basket. Lauren had a solid night, even if it wasn't her gaudy numbers of late. It was great to see her continue to post up on CP3, and even little Riley, when she'd get cocky and think she should go inside against the monsters. But getting into early foul trouble certainly kept her off the court for more than usual. I guess that's good, gives the rest of our players opportunities.

Clearly Parker and Thompson got their points, but Tina was frustrated a lot, give credit to Camille and Swin. Tanisha certainly had her own frustrating night ... a few of late. I have to say I was kind of calling for her substitution - put Svetlana on the floor and leave her out there.

Milton-Jones and Quinn were no shows -- credit our defense. Betty's game has definitely changed, she is not the creator she once was. She has slowed up and can be defended pretty well now. I was not surprised to see Toliver start the game, she was a great pickup right before the opening game of the season. LA has some players, but some of them are getting towards the end of the careers and some are very young. The mix isn't gel-ling right now.

My goodness, it is such a joy to have Svetty on the floor. She has to be our best off season pickup ... so seasoned, so experienced, has control, knows how to control, no-look passes, her fakes, drives well, and moves with or without the ball so well.

The stadium was not your typical arena, we were kind of in a bowl, which I guess makes sense since it was outdoors. The concessions, the walking around areas, were above us. The entertainment at the game was some high school band who was up above on the outside that we couldn't hear very well, when they played, 2-3 times, their sound went up into the air, not down to us. Our dance troupe was there as well as the Sparks dancing group. They performed a couple of numbers by themselves and then with the Sparks group once. All went well.

During time-outs they too have their "crowd-generator", but she was a bit more annoying than Shelly. And some guy from a radio station was there last night, and he teamed up with their gal and continued the annoyance. But we couldn't be too upset, our Storm was winning.

The fans kept getting upset when the Sparks were fighting back and would continue to try and tie up the ball - our Storm player would call a time-out right before the jump would be called. That certainly pissed the fans off numerous times.

The crowd wasn't very large, at least not to begin with, and the stadium never did fill up -- even though it only holds about 8000.

Yes Orender was there. But probably the best part of the whole thing, aside from the big win and being 7-1 to the Sparks 1-6, was watching our girls dominate the game almost from start to finish, and having the number of Storm fans, pretty close together, all cheering, as much as we did.

It was great fun, well worth the quick turn around trip to come home and see our girls try to go for 8-1 against Pho tonight.

One more closing remark - after the game was over and people were filing out (the few that were left, because in the last minute of play when it was clear that the Sparks weren't going to pull it out, people had already starting filing out), a Sparks fan who had been sitting in front of us, just to the right, turned to me, grabbed my hand, shook it nicely, and said "have a safe trip back". That was nice, I guess fans can be nicer than their teams. Seriously, it was a nice gesture. But, as we walked up to the top to get out of the stadium, there were two Sparks fans standing right under one of the TV screens showing Lisa Leslie making some end of game parting remarks. And these fans weren't as magnimous - "We were screwed" is what they said when they saw us.

Oh well, you can't please all of the people all of the time.

 

Submitted by | storminsf

I've never watched a game in LA so I was a bit worried that I'd be surrounded by Sparks fans, but of course when I got there, I saw Storm fans everywhere including missamo80 and their Beat LA poster and chant. I was hoping that we could all consolidate during the second half and sit right behind the Storm bench since the stadium was kind of sparse. I guess it was reported to be 6000 and it filled in a bit better after the game started. But it was a cool, cozy outdoor venue.

I won't give an extensive game report since it's archived, but here's my quick recap. Pregame, there was a good moment of silence for the legend, John Wooden. When they announced the Storm starting lineup, the Stormfans started making noise and I swear Sue looked up to point us out and acknowledge us I read a postgame quote that they were impressed with the Storm support - glad they felt our presence.

1st Quarter
We got off to a terrific start with Sue hitting a 3, T attacking, Little soaring in for all those rebounds and getting all those putpacks. Before I knew it, we were up something 21-8. But it seemed like the Sparks were just missing a lot of easy shots and CP3's baby hook wasn't falling. CP3 tweaked her knee and LJ got smacked in the face and had to stop that bleeding.

2nd Quarter
W e let the Sparks back into the game and the foul disparity started going up. It was either the second quarter or the third where we had 4 team fouls before the sparks had even one. thankfully, sue hit a jumper before halftime to stretch the lead to 7 or 8.

3rd Quarter
It started getting chillier and so did our shooting. the foul disparity continued to increase. LJ was called for a foul everytime Parker made a move. Svetty came in and gave us a huge lift. She had a sweet drive and no look pass and created a lot of opportunities. She did miss a few layups here and there towards the end of the quarter, but she then proceeded to hit a long jumper before the end of the 3rd. It looked like there was a bit of contact, which she clearly felt b/c she then proceeded to rush right towards the ref only to be stopped by Sue who had to jump off the bench to do so.

4th Quarter
There was a bit of a meltdown - All I know is that we were up by 17 early in the game and suddenly it was a 4 point game. I had a deja vu moment from last June in Seattle when the Storm almost blew a big double digit lead to hold on to win by 2 thanks to a last second strip by Swin. The Sparks started hitting jumpers and all those chippies they missed in the first quarter started falling in. There was the scary moment when 4 players collided in a scramble and Sue apparently banged kneecaps. Her head was down and she wasn't holding any leg part so of course my first immediate thought is the nose, so I scanned the floor for blood and thankfully nothing. But apparently it was the knee and she looked fine afterwards, just a bit shaken up. She didn't miss a shot after that and had those two long jumpers and the FTs to put us up for good. T missed a few free throws, but LJ iced the game at the end, which led to a huge sigh of relief by me.

Other Notes
Sparks fans were pretty upset at all our called timeouts before getting tied up or traveling. T went crashing into a chair early on in the game and completely took out the folding chair. T, Svet, and LJ all had turns going at the refs. It looked like LJ nicely put her arm around the ref one time to "kindly explain the situation" - picking up something from Taurasi? I liked the whole "blackout thing" with the black shoes and black socks. The air did have that tar smell for the first half, making it hard to breathe. I wonder if the Storm got new uni's b/c they seemed to fidget with their shorts a lot or maybe it was just Sue. And, the Sparks fans that I ran into there were actually very nice and cordial. As I went to get a drink at halftime (I had a feeling I would need it), a Spark fan thanked me for making the trip down. Walking out of the stadium, saw plenty more Storm fans and going back to our hotel - even more Storm fans in the lobby although funny enough, there was a couple of Sparks fans there (they didn't look too happy) and turns out they were staying in the next room over. Who would have figured.

And, I returned just in time to watch another Storm win and Celtics win. What a great basketball filled weekend!