Storm 101, Shock 74
This is what the Seattle Storm hoped for when they finally got healthy.
The Storm used a record-setting performance with contributions from everyone on the roster to pummel the Tulsa Shock 101-74 on Thursday night.
The Storm's 29 assists and 59.7 percent field goal shooting were the best in franchise history. The 14 3-pointers tied a franchise record on the way to the team's fifth 100-plus point game since joining the league in 2000.
The teams combined to make 27 3-pointers, the most in WNBA history, eclipsing the old mark by two.
At the point of the onslaught was three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson, who scored a season-high 23 points.
Jackson found a rhythm, something she's been missing since playing her first game of the season with the Storm on Aug. 23, in the first quarter when she scored seven points. That was more than her total in two of the three games since her return.
She scored 13 points in the first half and added 10 in a dominant third quarter. Her layup put Seattle (12-14) in front 68-44 with 5:30 left in the third. Jackson did not play in the fourth quarter and was on the court just 14:28 for the game.
''They got LJ back in her groove,'' Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg said. ''We just had no answer for her.''
Nor anyone else as all 11 Storm players scored. Rookie Shekinna Stricklen had 15 points and Sue Bird and Tina Thompson added 11 each.
Power forward Camille Little had seven assists, thanks to several entry passes to Jackson, who bullied her way to the basket. Tanisha Wright had eight assists.
''We're still evolving,'' Seattle coach Brian Agler said. ''We're still trying to work out some of the chemistry issues ... continuity on the court.''
Practice had a lot to do with that.
''We did a lot of scrimmaging,'' Jackson said of the past week. ''Just everybody getting used to playing with each other again. Some of the passes tonight were unbelievable.''
Ivory Latta led Tulsa (6-21) with 18 points while Riquna Williams scored 17 and Glory Johnson added 15 as the Shock fell to 1-12 on the road this season.
After taking an early lead, Tulsa wilted. The Storm led by 13 points at halftime and Svetlana Abrosimova's layup put Seattle in front 79-49 at the end of the third quarter.
Latta was on a roll early to help Tulsa take a short-lived lead. She knocked down two open 3-pointers and drove past Bird for a reverse layup on her way to eight points. Latta had two assists and a steal in the quarter, but also picked up two fouls, which sent her to the bench for much of the remainder of the half.
Agler called a timeout just 36 seconds into the second quarter following a jumper by Jennifer Lacy that tied the game at 26. Agler shouted at a referee, then at his team when he sat down in front of them for a brief and terse conversation. Agler walked out of the huddle to pace with his arms folded. Katie Smith's 3-pointer 3:52 later put the Storm ahead 38-31.
Thompson was crucial in the run. She rotated to take a charge, then showed her offensive ability which has made her the WNBA's all-time leading scorer. Thompson hit a left-handed hook, a righty shovel shot on the baseline and a free throw after being fouled on a drive. Her only miss of the quarter was a 3-pointer that rattled out. It was a visual explanation why Thompson is on her way to becoming the first WNBA player to score 7,000 points.
''I thought it was really good when she and Katie, our oldest two players, were taking charges out on the floor,'' Agler said.
Seattle led 53-40 at halftime because of Thompson's scoring and stern defense. The Shock shot 45 percent in the first quarter and 33 in the second while turning the ball over six times.
''If we can just keep getting better, who knows what our potential could be?'' Jackson said.