NEW YORK – Even without Lauren Jackson, the Seattle Storm aren’t settling for just making the postseason. They have their eyes on first-place Phoenix.
Camille Little had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Sue Bird scored 12 points, and the short-handed Storm rallied to win their sixth straight, 65-58 over the New York Liberty on Tuesday night.
“We aren’t satisfied with making the playoffs, we want to continue to get wins,” said Little, who had three key baskets in the final 61/2 minutes.
Seattle, headed for its sixth straight postseason appearance, moved one game behind the Mercury in the Western Conference and stretched its lead on third-place Los Angeles to 31/2 games.
“Our goal is still to win the conference,” Seattle coach Brian Agler said. “Even though we’re in (the playoffs), we’re still trying to fight for position out in the West. We still feel like we have a chance to get first place.”
Tanisha Wright scored 11 points and Swin Cash had nine of her 10 points in the second half for Seattle (19-11), which played its second straight without Jackson while the star forward is sidelined indefinitely with a stress fracture in her back.
Cathrine Kraayeveld had 14 points and eight rebounds, and rookie center Kia Vaughn scored 11 points for the Liberty (12-18). New York dropped 21/2 games behind Detroit and Washington for the last two playoff spots in the East with four games left.
The Storm finished 24 for 29 (83 percent) on free throws, hitting their last 17.