Lynx 88

(14-16, 6-9 away)

Storm 96

(21-10, 15-1 home)

    10:00 PM ET, September 6, 2008

    Key Arena, Seattle, WA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 24 22 20 2288
    SEA 18 17 33 2896

    Top Performers

    Minnesota: S. Augustus 26 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Stl

    Seattle: T. Wright 17 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    Lynx-Storm Preview


    The Seattle Storm no longer have to worry about making the postseason. Securing home-court advantage throughout the playoffs is now at the top of their to-do list.

    After clinching their fifth consecutive playoff berth, the Storm continue their pursuit of the top seed as they host the Minnesota Lynx on Saturday night.

    Seattle (20-10) has won 12 of its last 15 games to match the franchise record for victories, set in 2004 and matched in '05. More importantly for the Storm, they'll be making yet another trip to the playoffs.

    "This win is huge," Storm coach Brian Agler said after his club outscored Chicago 22-10 in the fourth quarter to steal a 70-62 road victory Thursday night. The win made Seattle the first team in the conference to secure a postseason berth.

    "We'd like to win the Western Conference," Agler added. "We have to just take it one game at a time."

    Seattle's recent success has come without reigning league MVP Lauren Jackson, who will miss the rest of the regular season after injuring her ankle playing for the Australian Olympic team. The Storm are 6-3 without her, including 3-1 since the WNBA resumed play following the one-month Olympic hiatus.

    The Storm have managed to stay on track largely because of Sue Bird, who has scored at least 19 points in six of her last seven games. In that stretch, the seventh-year guard is averaging 20.1 points, 3.9 assists and 1.7 steals while shooting 52.5 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from 3-point range (15-for-30).

    Bird had 19 points and went 8-for-12 from the field Thursday.

    "She's the MVP of the league," Agler said. "She's going to do whatever it takes, whatever we ask. When the game was on the line she came through."

    The Storm are looking to sweep their three-game season series with the Lynx (14-15), who have lost the first two games of their four-game western road trip to fall further back of the fourth and final playoff spot in the conference.

    Minnesota missed 19 of its first 22 shots Wednesday and couldn't overcome the slow start in a 103-96 loss to Phoenix.

    The defeat overshadowed another strong game from third-year guard Seimone Augustus, who scored 27 points to reach double figures for the 28th time in as many games this season.

    Augustus, though, has had two of her lowest-scoring games of the year against the Storm. She was held to 14 points in a 96-71 road loss July 5, then scored 10 on 3-of-16 shooting in a 76-73 home defeat July 22.

    Bird has averaged 17.0 points and 7.5 assists this season against the Lynx, losers of five straight in Seattle since an 86-81 victory June 15, 2005.