September 4, 2011 in Sports

Storm look to be in playoff form after another win

Associated Press photo

Phoenix’s Penny Taylor, left, and Candice Dupree surround Sparks’ Candace Parker.
(Full-size photo)

With the playoffs set to begin in less than two weeks, the Seattle Storm look ready to defend their championship.

Sue Bird scored 15 points, Swin Cash had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and the visiting Storm beat the host San Antonio Silver Stars 70-60 on Saturday night. Lauren Jackson added 13 points as Seattle (19-13) won for the sixth time in seven games and took four of five in the season series against San Antonio.

The Storm lead Phoenix by a half-game for second place in the Western Conference, and home-court advantage in the first round.

“We’re in a situation where there are a couple of games left, we’re trying to get second place and we can really control our own destiny by getting wins,” Bird said. “So we just wanted to do whatever we had to do to get a win, and everybody did that tonight. It felt really, really good.”

Sophia Young scored 22 points and Becky Hammon had 14 for the Silver Stars (15-16), who lead Los Angeles by two games for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West.

“I thought (Sue) Bird and (Lauren) Jackson were Bird and Jackson,” Silver Stars coach Hughes said. “They have a very formidable team. They’re back in a rhythm that reminded me of what I saw of them last year.”

After the Silver Stars cut a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit to seven, Cash banked in a 3-pointer and Seattle never looked back.

Cash topped 4,000 career points, reaching the mark when Bird found her for a layup with 8:23 left in the third quarter.

The Storm outrebounded San Antonio 40-21 and shot 14 for 26 in the second half.

Mercury clinches playoff spot: Candice Dupree had 22 points and a franchise-record 19 rebounds to help the host Phoenix Mercury clinch a playoff spot with a 93-77 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks.

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