SEATTLE – Lauren Jackson set a career mark and motivated her team.
Then she took a seat.
It was a hard 11 minutes of play for Jackson in an 84-75 win against San Antonio in Seattle’s regular-season finale at KeyArena. The Storm won’t play in their stadium again until Game 2 of the opening round of the Western Conference playoff against top-seeded Minnesota.
Really, Jackson’s play was a culmination of her 12-year career, including a past few months that have comprised one of the hardest summers ever for Jackson, given the native Australian’s absence the first half of the WNBA season to compete in the London Olympics. She also had to quickly meld into the new roster, a process delayed by another injury.
But her 6,000th career point in the second quarter was a flashback to some of Jackson’s MVP seasons. She darted to the basket, sending the ball through the hoop with one hand. You could barely tell the Aussie missed the previous three games with a hamstring injury, receiving an injection early this week to dull nerve pain.
The shot helped the Storm outscore the Silver Stars (20-13) 28-12 in the quarter and go into halftime with a commanding 48-29 lead. Seattle never trailed, but San Antonio did pull to 79-75 late in the fourth quarter following a deep 3-pointer by guard Shameka Christon.
Storm guard Tanisha Wright made three of four free throws in the final minute and guard Katie Smith sank two in the closing seconds to help preserve the win for Seattle (15-18).
Storm center Ann Wauters finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds off the bench. Smith had a team-high 16 points and six assists.