BY SPNW Staff 09:42PM 08/23/2012

Storm blows late 11-point lead to lose at buzzer

For Lauren Jackson, the Olympics are so yesterday.

In her first game back in Seattle, she and he Storm blew an 11-point lead in the final two minutes, 44 seconds, the last of which was consumed by Shevonte Zellous’s three-pointer from the corner at the buzzer that gave the Indiana Fever a shocking 68-66 triumph Thursday night, sending the Storm to its third consecutive loss at KeyArena.

Seemingly helpless everywhere but the free throw line (19 of 20), the Fever (13-8) went on a 15-2 run in the final 3:15, including four of five three-point shots, as the Storm’s offense shut down and played not to lose.

Jackson, clearly not ready to play, committed back-to-back turnovers in the final two minutes that gave life to the Fever rally.

She also missed an ill-advised shot inside that Indiana rebounded and converted into a field goal by Jessica Davenport to cut the deficit to 66-65. Bird missed a wide open three at :50, but Seattle (10-13) retained possession. Tanisha Wright had her shot blocked at 20 seconds.

Fever coach Lin Dunn elected to go without a timeout. The Storm left Zellous open in the corner. She hit the game-winner over a too-late lunge from Jackson, to stun a crowd of 5,819 into silence.

Jackson finished with four points — a three and one free throw — and six rebounds in 24 minutes. Seattle was led by Camille Little’s 15 points and 14 from Sue Bird. Rookie Shekinna Stricklen had one of her best games with 13 points off the bench. The Storm again played without injured Ann Wauters and Tina Thompson.

Tamika Catchings led the Fever with 17 points and 11 rebounds, but she missed 11 of 17 field goals as the Fever shot just 33 percent from the field. Indiana was nearly helpless during a 16-0 run by the Storm over the first and second quarters that seemed to signal a blowout was possible.

But the Fever trailed only 29-27 after a poorly played first half. Indiana fell back again by as much as 13 in the final period before beginning the winning run. It was the first win in Seattle in six tries for the Fever.


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