Game: Phoenix Mercury (4-19) at Seattle Storm (11-13). When: 7 p.m. Thursday. Where: KeyArena. Meeting: Seattle, 3-0. TV: None. Radio: 1090 AM
After a burdensome schedule in the first half of the season, the Storm, now at nearly full strength, get the tissue-soft portion of the WNBA calendar.
Not a complaint will be heard.
The Storm play the first of three games against the two worst teams in the WNBA, the Phoenix Mercury (4-19) and the Tulsa Shock (4-19). The Mercury, which the Storm has beaten all three times this season by an average of 16 points and has lost 10 in a row, comes to Seattle at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The Storm plays Tulsa Sept. 6, ending a seven-game run of games at home. Their first road game in nearly two months, thanks in part to the Olympic break, will be Sept. 8 in Tulsa.
If all goes well, three wins will put the Storm at 14-13, the first time it will have had a winning record all season.
The Storm finally had its full complement of 11 -players in the 84-66 win over New York. For the first time this season, Lauren Jackson joined fellow Olympian Sue Bird along with injured post players Ann Wauters and Tina Thompson. All are less than 100 percent fit, but the schedule should provide time to get in shape and get together for a late run to the playoffs, of which the Storm are all but assured of making.
The Mercury Saturday welcomed back Olympic star Diana Taurasi, whose 19 points didn’t do too much to prevent Indiana’s 85-72 win. Taurasi played the season’s first two games, and injured a hip flexor that kept her out until the Olympic break. She played a leading role in the U.S.’s fifth consecutive gold medal. But upon her return from London, she had a wisdom tooth extracted.
The Mercury are without three injured regulars: Candice Dupree (knee), Alexis Gray-Lawson (knee) and Charde Houston (ankle). Additonally, Penny Taylor has missed the entire season while recovering from a torn ACL injury.
Coaches: Brian Agler is in his fifth season with the Storm. Corey Gaines is in his fifth year with the Mercury.
SEATTLE STORM 2012 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
|5/18/12||vs. Los Angeles||L||66-72||0-1|
|5/22/12||at Los Angeles||L||61-74||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||L||71-82||10-11|
|8/26/12||vs. New York||W||84-66||11-13|
|9/14/12||at San Antonio||—||—||—|
|9/21/12||vs. San Antonio||—||—||—|