Storm 91

(28-6, 11-6 away)

Mercury 88

(15-19, 9-8 home)

    Coverage: ABC

    3:00 PM ET, September 5, 2010

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 22 18 21 3091
    PHX 24 24 23 1788

    Top Performers

    Seattle: S. Cash 23 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    Phoenix: D. Taurasi 28 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 3 Blk

    Storm-Mercury Preview


    Lauren Jackson and coach Brian Agler of the Seattle Storm opened the Western Conference finals by receiving individual awards for record-setting performances during the regular season.

    However, they continue to focus on the bigger picture.

    Seattle will try to sweep the defending WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury when the best-of-three series continues at US Airways Center on Sunday afternoon.

    Before an 82-74 win in Game 1 on Thursday, Jackson was named the WNBA's most valuable player for the third time in her career and Agler was named the league's coach of the year after Seattle matched the WNBA record for wins in a regular season with 28.

    "It's just because of where we are at the moment and the opportunity to do great things this year," Jackson said. "Especially playing the Western Conference finals, that definitely makes it special."

    Jackson quickly reminded people why she received the honor, scoring 23 points and grabbing a team playoff-record 17 rebounds.

    "That's Lauren. That's why she's the MVP -- she can get it done in a variety of ways," said Sue Bird, who had 10 assists. "And the way she's getting rebounds ... that's key against this team. Defensively, it doesn't allow them to score or allow them second shots. And offensively, it doesn't allow them to run. So Lauren was huge for us on the boards."

    The win was Seattle's sixth straight overall after sweeping its first-round series against Los Angeles. The Storm have won six in a row against the Mercury with Jackson averaging 22.3 points and recording a double-double three times.

    While Seattle is looking to eliminate the defending WNBA champs, Phoenix will try to force a Game 3 and have Diana Taurasi bounce back after scoring nine points on 2-of-15 shooting Thursday.

    Taurasi scored fewer than 10 points only once during the regular season, when she averaged a league-best 22.6 points.

    "I'm not worried about it," coach Corey Gaines said. "It's gone, it's over. She doesn't have any more of those. It happens."

    Taurasi has had some difficulties against Seattle this year, averaging 12.0 points in the first two regular-season meetings. However, she averaged 35.5 in the last two, scoring 44 the previous time these teams met in Phoenix.

    She won't be the only player trying to get things going Sunday. The Mercury averaged 99.0 points while sweeping San Antonio in the conference semifinals, but they shot 38.0 percent while getting outrebounded 40-34 in Game 1.

    The Storm haven't allowed an opponent to score more than 75 points in their last six games.

    "I think we need to run more," said Mercury forward Candice Dupree, who had 15 points. "We need to be more aggressive attacking the basket. ... As long as we're aggressive, we should be fine."

    If necessary, Game 3 would be in Seattle on Wednesday.