Smith scores 16 as Storm beat Silver Stars 84-75Saturday, Sep 22, 2012
SEATTLE (AP)—Lauren Jackson thought it was just a nice shot. She had no idea it was a milestone.
Jackson, who now has 6,003, points reached the milestone on a fastbreak layup with 8:16 left in the second quarter, giving Seattle its first double-digit lead at 27-17.
“I didn’t think about it. Nobody said anything,” she said. “I didn’t even know until the timeout (right after her basket) when I heard all the cheering, and I thought, `Yeah, that was a really nice lay-up, that was an awesome lay-up.”’
Jackson missed the first half of the season to train with the Australian national team for the London Olympics, then was sidelined with a strained left hamstring for Seattle’s past three games.
Katie Smith scored 16 points to lead Seattle (15-18), Ann Wauters had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Camille Little and Sue Bird each had 12. The third-place Storm close the season Sunday against defending champion Minnesota, and then open the Western Conference playoffs at Los Angeles on Thursday.
Jackson’s milestone was second for a Storm player this week. On Tuesday, veteran Tina Thompson, in her first year with Seattle after starring previously with Houston and Los Angeles, became the first WNBA player to surpass 7,000 points. Jackson, a three-time league MVP, has played her entire career with the Storm.
“The nice thing with her is she has done it all for Seattle,” said coach Brian Agler, who limited Jackson to just 11 minutes to avoid aggravating the hamstring again. “Hopefully, she’ll get a chance to catch up with Tina.”
The Storm scored the first four points of the game and led all the way, increasing the advantage to 21 in the second quarter. Seattle led 48-29 at halftime.
The Silver Stars closed the gap in the third, getting as close as five before Seattle stretched it back out to a seemingly safe 12 points at 77-65 with 2:41 left. However,San Antonio pulled to 79-75 on a 3-pointer by Shameka Christon with 39 seconds left. However, they didn’t score again and Seattle hit five free throws to seal the win.
“We might have relaxed a little bit, and they hit a couple of tough shots,” said Smith, whose 16 points put her within 32 of catching Lisa Leslie for No. 2 on the WNBA’s all-time scoring list. “It’s hard, because they’re still battling, setting good picks, and they have shooters. You slip up a little bit defensively and give them space, and they can knock it down.”
Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes was happy with the second-half performance, if not the final result.
“I just felt like we were a play behind there in the first half, especially in the second quarter,” Hughes said. “And Seattle shot the ball extremely well at that point. Our players did a good job of coming out in the second half. They gave a great effort and better execution.”
The Silver Stars close the season against Los Angeles on Saturday before facing the Lynx in the opener of their first-round series next Friday.