With just 1.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter until certain loss against the Minnesota Lynx, Seattle Storm superstar Lauren Jackson scored a three-pointer and forced overtime (OT).
Minnesota forward Seimone Augustus said, “[Lauren Jackson’s] one of the world’s best players. That’s what we expect. Even though she had a rough offensive night, when it’s time to put the game on the line, of course they’re [Storm] going to put it in their hands. She hit a great shot tonight to force overtime.”
Then, with only 23.9 seconds remaining, the Storm’s Tanisha Wright made a strategic shot and another OT was required. Eventually the Storm proved victorious over Minnesota (86- 79).
Storm Head Coach Brian Agler said of Jackson, “Everybody is going to have tough shooting nights. Lauren is a great player and she is still getting her rhythm with our team a little bit. She missed some shots around the basket, but I will say this, they are congesting her. There is a lot of physicality going on around the basket and I don’t know if Lauren adapted real well to that tonight, but I do know this, she will adapt to it. She’ll play better on Tuesday.”
Storm Guard Sue Bird knows that winning Tuesday’s game in Minnesota will not be easy for the Storm, but she’s up for the challenge. “Even though we’re happy about this [win] we’re not satisfied. We have a good opportunity in front of us in Minnesota and hopefully we can come away with a win, but we know it’s not going to be easy. The first wasn’t easy, the second game wasn’t easy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if [the next] game is harder than both.”
Minnesota Head Coach Cheryl Reeve offered, “Seattle won their home game to extend it to a third game so give them credit. It made it very challenging for our offense. We had some real difficulty after the first quarter with putting the ball in the hole. The ball wouldn’t go in the hole and that was the story of the game. At some point you have to score – there’s only so much you can do defensively, at some point you have to score, and we just couldn’t get that done tonight.”
Minnesota’s 32.5 percent shooting was the team’s worst ever in a playoff game and the lowest ever allowed by the Storm. Sue Bird (22 points) led the Storm in scoring for the fifth time in her playoff career. Bird’s four steals were a playoff career high and a 2012 high.
Sunday’s Storm win was the first double-OT game in the team’s playoff history and the first OT game in Lynx playoff history. Minnesota had a seven-game playoff winning streak before Sunday’s game against the Storm.
The next Western Conference Semifinals Playoff game is in Minnesota on Tuesday. If the Storm wins this game, they will advance. If they don’t, they will go home. Stay tuned.