LOS ANGELES – Same opponent. Different location. Same result.
The Storm spent three days, including a shoot-around earlier Tuesday, working on gelling with each other offensively and being more aggressive on defense.
Yet, as if on cue in a rematch against Los Angeles at the Staples Center, glitches by Seattle triggered a Sparks run and Los Angeles went on to a 74-61 victory Tuesday night.
In the season opener Friday in Seattle, Los Angeles defeated the Storm 72-66 after the Sparks were trailing by 21 points at one point.
The only element missing in Los Angeles’ home opener Tuesday was a raucous crowd, unless you count the screaming for legend Lisa Leslie.
Otherwise mistakes by both squads were clear signs that these two teams are still getting adjusted to roster overhauls.
The Storm dropped to 0-2 to open the season. It’s the worst start since 2003 under former coach Anne Donovan.
Center Ann Wauters led the Storm with 15 points and Tina Thompson added 13.
Trailing 51-45 with 2:22 left in the third quarter, Storm guard Tanisha Wright committed her fourth foul and the Sparks went on a 9-2 run to take a 60-47 lead into the final quarter.
Seattle’s 19 turnovers resulted in 24 points for the Sparks. In the season-opening defeat Friday, the Storm had 27 turnovers, fourth-highest in franchise history.
Down 30-19 in the second quarter Tuesday, Seattle went on a 14-5 run to close to two points after a 3-pointer by Thompson. But Candace Parker blocked a Camille Little driving layup attempt and Sue Bird overthrew a pass to Wauters to muddle the comeback.
Los Angeles took a 37-33 lead into halftime, thanks to 14 points off 13 Seattle miscues.
Seattle coach Brian Agler used rookie Shekinna Stricklen to start the second half. Before the game, he said he liked what the No. 2 draft choice was doing so far in practice and games and wanted to get her more minutes.
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