September 10, 2011 in Sports

Katie Smith leads Seattle Storm over Phoenix Mercury


SEATTLE – Katie Smith scored 11 of her season-high 26 points in the third quarter to help the Seattle Storm beat Phoenix 85-70 on Friday night and clinch home-court advantage against the Mercury in the WNBA playoffs next week.

Tanisha Wright added 18 points and Sue Bird 15 for Seattle (20-13), which has the tiebreaker against Phoenix (19-14) for the No. 2 playoff seed in the Western Conference with one game remaining. The Storm won the season series 3-1.

Diana Taurasi scored a season-high 36 for Phoenix. She had 28 in the first half, three shy of the WNBA record, to help the Mercury to a 41-35 lead.

Phoenix opens the best-of-3 series Thursday at Seattle, which has won seven of eight.

Smith came into the game averaging 6.6 points with a season high of 16, against Phoenix Aug. 16.

Le’coe Willingham, Wright and Bird hit 3-pointers and Bird made two free throws to give Seattle a 69-58 lead with 5:45 left in the game. The Mercury never threatened again.

Smith scored 11 straight, including three 3-pointers, in the third quarter to help rally the Storm from a nine-point deficit. Seattle is 7-1 since Lauren Jackson returned after missing 20 games with a hip injury, although Jackson had only four points and did not score until the fourth quarter.

The Storm improved to 14-2 at home. Phoenix is 8-9 on the road.

Get stories like this in a free daily email

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus