TULSA, Okla. – Camille Little had a season-high 28 points and nine rebounds to lead the Seattle Storm to an 89-66 victory over the last-place Tulsa Shock on Saturday night.
Sue Bird had 11 points and Lauren Jackson and Katie Smith added 10 apiece to help the Storm (13-14) beat the Shock for fourth time this season, and second in three nights. Tanisha Wright had seven assists and Bird had five as Seattle finished with 25.
“Tulsa likes to press and make it hectic,” Bird said. “What we have found the last two games is we have numbers, 3-on-2, 4-on-3. It’s really about being unselfish and finding the open player. We did that tonight and people were knocking down shots.”
Seattle shot 58 percent (32 for 55) from the field, led by Little’s 12-for-17 effort.
Jackson, playing for the fifth time this season after joining the Storm after the London Olympics, shot 4 for 8 and grabbed eight rebounds in about 151/2 minutes.
“Everybody was in the books tonight. That’s good for our team,” Little said. “It’s nice to have everybody back. It’s certainly better than when you only have two or three (scorers). I’m pretty sure it’s hard to guard Tina Thompson and Lauren Jackson.”
Little said a lot of the credit goes to the guards.
“We have great guards,” she said. “We’re passing the ball really well right now. Basically, we started over. Lauren wasn’t here in the beginning and we had several injuries that made us start over. This is a great time to get comfortable.”
Ivory Latta scored 14 points to lead the Shock (6-22). Riquna Williams added 13 points and Roneeka Hodges had 10. Tulsa shot 34 percent (22 for 65).
The Shock had no answer for the Storm’s inside presence, which accounted for 40 points in the paint.
Little started Seattle’s rally in the opening minutes of the second quarter, scoring all nine of Seattle’s points in the first 5 minutes of the period.
“This might be Camille’s career high,” Seattle coach Brian Agler said. “Obviously, we have very good post players. The person who has benefitted the most with Lauren and Tina being back is Camille. Now that they are back she gets a lot of 1-on-1 coverage.”
With three wins in its last four games, Seattle is closing on securing the Western Conference’s fourth and final playoff berth. The Storm, who eliminated the Shock with the win, lead Phoenix by six games with seven to go. Seattle is also four games behind third-place San Antonio.
“We’ve got to get there first,” Agler said. “We’re almost there. We’ve just got to keep getting better. We were better defensively. I’d like to see us score a little more in transition, because we do get quite a few stops. We need to play efficient basketball, not turning the ball over.”
Agler said the Storm needs to stay the course over the final weeks of the season.
“I think we are getting better,” Agler said. “Every team in this league is pretty good. I know Tulsa might be sitting here at six wins, but they are much improved. They’ve had some extremely good wins this year. They beat L.A., beat Atlanta in Atlanta. We haven’t beaten L.A. this year.”