BY SPNW Staff 09:27PM 09/21/2012

Jackson gets 11 minutes, Storm get a victory

The Storm raced to a 21-point, second-quarter lead, then weathered a San Antonio rally that closed the gap to four before Seattle settled down for a 84-75 triumph Friday night that saw Lauren Jackson return after a three-game injury absence.

Jackson, recovering from a strained hamstring, played only 11 minutes but had 11 points on five of seven from the field that helped the Storm (15-18) close the home regular season with a 10-7 record in front of a Fan Appreciation Night crowd of 8,494 at KeyArena.

Katie Smith continued her strong late-season play with 16 points, six assists and six rebounds.  In 26 minutes off the bench, Ann Wauters had 14 and a season-high 13 rebounds. Sue Bird and Camille Little each had 12 points.

In a game that had zero playoff significance — the fourth-seeded Storm are set to play top-seeded Minnesota, and the Silver Stars meet Los Angeles in the other Western Conference semifinal — the Storm had 28-12 second quarter run to take a 48-29 lead into halftime.

But the Stars, behind reserve Danielle Adams’ 16 points and 10 rebounds, came back with a 21-7 run to open the third quarter and closed to 55-50.  They made another late run to close to 79-75 in the last 31 seconds, but the Storm pulled away at the free throw line.

As they prepare for the playoffs, perhaps the most significant feat for the Storm was only  12 turnovers, matching its season low. The Stars lost for the 10th consecutive time in Seattle.

The Storm finish the regular season, the first with a losing record since 2001, with a game Sunday in Phoenix. They open a best-of-three series against the Lynx Friday in Minneapolis.


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