8:00 PM ET, July 16, 2011
Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
The Seattle Storm have been up and down since losing reigning league MVP Lauren Jackson. When it comes to playing on the road, though, they've mostly been down.The Storm will try to improve on their poor record away from home when they continue a three-game trip Saturday night against the Minnesota Lynx.Seattle (7-5) dropped to 4-3 without Jackson, who has been out since late June with a hip injury, after suffering a 69-66 defeat at San Antonio on Thursday.The Storm cut the Silver Stars' lead to one twice in the final 30 seconds but were unable to pull ahead."We did have a rough shooting night, and we still had a chance to win," guard Sue Bird said. "I think that speaks to our toughness and our defense. We always give ourselves a chance, and tonight it just didn't work out for us. We were right there; it just didn't work out."Tanisha Wright scored 18 points and Swin Cash added 13, but Bird, who along with Cash was named an All-Star starter Thursday, was held to 10 points after averaging 19.3 in the previous four.Seattle fell to 2-4 on the road, where it plays five of its next six. The Storm are averaging 67.0 points on the road compared to 77.2 at home.Seattle's first game without Jackson, a three-time league MVP whom the team hopes can return before the end of the regular season, was against Minnesota on June 24. The Storm won 65-55 behind 16 points from Camille Little.The Lynx handed the Storm their only home loss of the season in the first meeting, 81-74 on June 9.Minnesota (8-4) has won three of four and will be playing on consecutive nights for the first time following an 80-70 win at Indiana on Friday.The Lynx snapped the Fever's seven-game winning streak as Rebekkah Brunson scored 20 points and Maya Moore added 18.Minnesota gave up 112 points in a loss to Phoenix on Wednesday that dropped it out of first place in the Western Conference but was much better defensively Friday. The Lynx allowed 22 points in the first quarter before settling down and holding Indiana to 29 after halftime."The biggest thing for us was that we finally locked down and defended in the second half," coach Cheryl Reeve said. "We were disappointed with how well we let the Fever move the basketball, we thought they really had their wheels rolling."Brunson, averaging 11.6 boards, had eight to help Minnesota outrebound the Fever 38-26. She struggled in the loss to the Storm last month, finishing with two points and seven rebounds.