On Tuesday, May 22, the Los Angeles Sparks defeated the Seattle Storm for the second time in the season. The Sparks outscored the Storm 74-61. With this loss, the Storm's record falls to 0-2, their worst start since 2003.
Candace Parker scored 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Sparks. She also had six huge blocks in the game. Kristi Toliver contributed another 18 points. The Sparks defense held the Storm to just 38.6 percent shooting from the field. Their defense has been a big problem for the Storm, who turned the ball over a total of 41 times in their first two games against the Sparks.
The Storm had four players who scored in double digits, including Ann Wauters, Tina Thompson, Katie Smith and Camille Little. Wauters was the Storm's high scorer with 15 points. Thompson added 13 against her former team.
In the May 18 season opener against the Sparks, the Storm led by as many as 21 points during the game before the Sparks staged their impressive comeback. In Tuesday's game, the Storm never held the lead.
Storm Adjusting to Major Offseason Changes
Although I was really hoping for a Storm victory, I am trying to remember that this team saw drastic changes during the offseason. The most noteworthy was the trade of Swin Cash and Le'Coe Willingham to the Chicago Sky in exchange for the number two draft pick. The Storm used the pick to select rookie Shekinna Stricklen in the WNBA Draft. Stricklen's versatility will help the Storm fill the void left behind while Lauren Jackson misses the first half of the season to compete in the Olympics. The Storm also acquired veteran forward Tina Thompson from the Sparks. Thompson has been a part of the league since the WNBA's inaugural season in 1997.
The Storm will face the Minnesota Lynx on Thursday, May 24. The Lynx are the defending champions and have won their first two games of the 2012 season. The Lynx, who scored over 100 points in their first game, are sure to come out strong offensively. The Storm had better be prepared to maintain a tight defensive effort throughout the entire game.
Anne Bucher has been a devoted follower of the WNBA since its inception in 1997. A Texas native, she cheered the Houston Comets on to their four consecutive championship titles. Now she lives in the Northwest and roots for the Seattle Storm.