Game: Los Angeles Sparks (15-6) at Seattle Storm (10-10). When: 7 p.m. Saturday Where: KeyArena. Meeting: 5th (Los Angeles 4-0). TV: NBA TV Radio: 1090 AM
If ever there were an all-hands-on-deck game for the Storm his season, it would be Saturday against the Los Angeles Sparks, which has won all four meetings. This is the final match-up, and it may happen, as have the previous four, without Sue Bird or Lauren Jackson.
Jackson remains home in Australia after the London Olympics, and could be back Monday. Bird returned to Seattle Tuesday, but had a bout of stomach flu compromise her first game back with the Storm. She played only 10 minutes before sitting out the final half of Seattle's 72-58 triumph over Phoenix Thursday.
Bird skipped practice Friday to rest, and her status for the game was unknown.
Besides the two stars, another starter, center Ann Wauters, continues to rehab an Achilles injury and likely will be unavailable. Reserve Tina Thompson has a sore knee and ankle, but managed 15 minutes Thursday and contributed eight points and four rebounds.
The Sparks are led by Candace Parker, who joined Bird on the Olympic squad that won gold. Parker had 21 points and 11 rebounds in the U.S.'s 86-50 title triumph over France that was her second Olympic gold. She was named WNBA player of the month for June and July, the latter when the Sparks won all five games after finishing June with three losses in a row.
One of those included an 83-59 whipping of the Storm in LA July 7, equaling the Storm's biggest margin of defeat this season. The Sparks are third in the West, one spot ahead of the Storm.
Head Coaches: Storm head coach Brian Agler is in his fifth season with Seattle. Sparks coach Carol Ross is in her first season with the Storm after being an assistant in Atlanta the previous two seasons.
SEATTLE STORM 2012 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
|5/18/12||vs. Los Angeles||L||66-72||0-1|
|5/22/12||at Los Angeles||L||61-74||0-2|
|6/3/12||at Los Angeles||L||65-67||1-4|
|6/9/12||at San Antonio||L||67-80||1-6|
|6/22/12||vs. San Antonio||W||82-76||4-7|
|6/30/12||at New York||L||59-77||6-8|
|7/7/12||at Los Angeles||L||59-83||7-9|
|8/18/12||vs. Los Angeles||---||---||---|
|8/26/12||vs. New York||---||---||---|
|9/14/12||at San Antonio||---||---||---|
|9/21/12||vs. San Antonio||---||---||---|