7:00 PM ET, August 10, 2010
The Seattle Storm have claimed the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Now they can secure home-court advantage for the entire postseason.Coming off the most lopsided victory in WNBA history, the Storm open a three-game road trip against the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday night.Seattle (24-4) has clinched first place in the West for the first time, setting a franchise record for wins. Another victory will give them home court throughout the playoffs as the club goes for its second WNBA title.The Storm got closer to that goal by beating Tulsa 111-65 on Saturday, setting a record for the most lopsided win in league history and improving to 15-0 at home."Obviously, we came out very focused and did what we were supposed to do," said forward Swin Cash, who had 18 points and seven rebounds. "We knew what we wanted to get done on the floor and I was really proud of how we played collectively as a team."Seattle has outscored opponents by nearly 10 points per game this season. The Storm, though, will be looking to avoid a three-game road losing streak.The Storm suffered defeats at Minnesota and Tulsa last week. They play four of their remaining six games away from home.Even though Seattle has not clinched the top overall seed, the team appears to already be looking toward the postseason. Coach Brian Agler held his starters out in the fourth quarter Saturday, allowing reserve forward Svetlana Abrosimova to finish with 20 points and eight assists.Lauren Jackson, third in the WNBA with 21.4 points and sixth with 8.7 rebounds per game, had 32 points and 10 boards to power a 90-72 win over the Dream (18-11) on June 1.Seattle, however, dropped its last visit to Atlanta 88-79 on Aug. 15 despite 25 points and nine rebounds from Jackson.The Dream are second in the East, one-half game behind Indiana with one fewer contest to play.Consecutive losses dropped the Dream out of first place, and they lost the season series to the Fever with a 95-93 defeat Friday.With Indiana visiting Los Angeles on Tuesday, Angel McCoughtry will try to help Atlanta avoid a costly three-game slide.The forward, just ahead of Jackson for second in the WNBA with 21.7 points per game, reached the 30-point mark in her last two games. She struggled against the Storm in June, going 7 for 24 from the floor for 16 points.