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Final score: Storm 68 – Lynx 64 (W) (26-6)

Attendance | 7394

Box Score | Jayda's Game Blog | Live from Press Row

Game Photos | Scott E | Rick | Scott L | Toni

Few games have made me as irritated as this one. It wasn't that the Storm played poorly through the whole first half and into the third quarter — they've done that before so many times this season and then come back to win that it almost seems like they prefer to come from behind.

Storm vs Lynx  40

No, what irritated me so much about this game, even to the point that I almost didn't think the Storm deserved the win (almost — a win is a win), was how the Storm played.

I get that with everything sewn up for the Storm's playoff position human nature would be to relax and coast the rest of the season. They've done that for the last few games and have gotten beat. It hasn't mattered in the scheme of things so far as where the Storm will end the regular season, but there are certianly consequences.

The two that are most worrisome are giving potential playoff opponents hope that they have a chance to beat the Storm, at home even, and getting so relaxed that getting back up to their mid-season form will take too long. We saw both at play tonight.

The Storm should have been able to pound the Lynx. Minnesota was playing without Anosike which should have been a factor, but because the Lynx were also playing just to get into the playoffs they came out with fire and determination and left the Storm in their dust. The Storm were allowing the Lynx to completely control the game and they didn't look like they really cared all that much that they were being embarrased on their own court.

Storm vs Lynx  75

The Storm's body language, the way they reacted to turnovers and missed shots, the way they let rebounds go without really even trying to get them — all of it added up to the worst 20 minutes of Storm basketball in seasons. And the result? Minnesota's confidence was going up with every play. The last thing any of us want is a team like Minnesota starting to think they could beat the Storm in KeyArena.

To the other thing — getting back to form. This game showed what happens when a team thinks they can just "turn it on" after choosing to slow down. Yes, it is ultimately the coach's decision to rest players or let the team think that some games don't matter. Look what happens. The Storm's collective heads weren't anywhere near being in the game and they stayed that way until late in the fourth quarter.

It was so frustrating to sit there and watch them play with so little energy or urgency. Can they turn it on? Can they get back to their dominating style of defense by the time the playoffs start? I hope so. After this game, I'm worried and I hope they are too. Hopefully this game was a wake up call.