Game: Seattle Storm (8-10) at Phoenix Mercury (4-14) When: 7 p.m. Friday Where: US Airways Center, Phoenix, Ariz. Meeting: Second (Seattle 1-0) TV: None
To prep for its upcoming month-long vacation, the Seattle Storm travel to Arizona Friday to cap the first half of the 2012 WNBA regular season against a team that checked out weeks ago.
Losers of its past five games, including an 83-68 loss to Seattle on Sunday, the Phoenix Mercury has played the role of Western Conference doormat since Diana Taurasi went down early in the season with a strained left hip flexor.The Storm is four games ahead of the Mercury for the fourth and final playoff spot with 14 games remaining in the WNBA season. With a win, the Storm can build a nearly insurmountable lead in the standings as they await the return of three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson.
Seattle will likely be short-handed again when it takes on Phoenix. Tina Thompson is out with a strained left knee. Storm head coach Brian Agler said Wednesday he is unsure if Ann Wauters (10.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game) will miss her fourth consecutive game with a partially torn Achilles.
The Storm likely need another sterling effort from Sue Bird. In Sunday’s blowout win over the Mercury, Bird dissected Phoenix’s defense en route to 31 points on 10-11 shooting. She continues to lead Seattle with 13.6 points and 5.3 assists per game.
Coming Up: All teams take a one-month break before squaring off again Aug. 16 at KeyArena.
Head Coaches: Storm head coach Brian Agler is in his fifth season with Seattle. Mercury head coach Corey Gaines is also in his fifth year in Phoenix.
SEATTLE STORM 2012 SCHEDULE/RESULTS:
|5/18/12||vs. Los Angeles||L||66-72||0-1|
|5/22/12||at Los Angeles||L||74-61||0-2|
|6/3/12||at Los Angeles||L||65-67||1-4|
|6/9/12||at San Antonio||L||67-80||1-6|
|6/22/12||vs. San Antonio||W||82-76||4-7|
|6/30/12||at New York||L||59-77||6-8|
|7/7/12||at Los Angeles||L||59-83||7-9|
|8/18/12||vs. Los Angeles||—||—||—|
|8/26/12||vs. New York||—||—||—|
|9/14/12||at San Antonio||—||—||—|
|9/21/12||vs. San Antonio||—||—||—|