Storm 83

(21-13, 6-11 away)

Mercury 92

(19-15, 11-6 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    10:00 PM ET, September 17, 2011

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 18 22 22 2183
    PHX 23 28 20 2192

    Top Performers

    Seattle: S. Bird 17 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Phoenix: C. Dupree 29 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Blk

    Storm-Mercury Preview


    The Seattle Storm swept the Phoenix Mercury during the 2010 Western Conference finals en route to winning the second WNBA title in franchise history.

    After quieting the league's leading scorer in Game 1 of this year's conference semifinals, the Storm are on the verge of ousting the Mercury from the playoffs for the second consecutive season Saturday night in Phoenix.

    Second-seeded Seattle (21-13) entered this best-of-three series having won 10 of 11 against the Mercury (19-15), including playoffs. The Storm continued that dominance in Game 1 on Thursday with an impressive 80-61 victory, their fifth in a row including the regular season.

    Tanisha Wright led Seattle with 21 points while Camille Little had 17 along with 11 rebounds. Lauren Jackson added 13 points, six boards and three blocks.

    No Phoenix player scored more than 13. Diana Taurasi was held to 11 points, barely more than half her WNBA-leading 21.6 average.

    Taurasi, who scored a season-high 36 during last Friday's 85-70 loss at Seattle, made just 3 of 11 shots -- including 1 of 5 from 3-point range.

    "Obviously, I didn't play as well as I wanted to," she said. "But I'm more worried about our team. You get 36 and you lose and it doesn't matter. You get 11 you lose, so it doesn't really matter how many points you score until we can find a way to beat this team. We'll see if we can find that answer."

    Getting back home could be just what the Mercury need to avoid elimination. Third-seeded Phoenix, averaging a league-best 88.9 points, won six of its last eight regular-season games at US Airways Center.

    "We get to go back to Phoenix for Game 2 and take care of our home court," Taurasi said. "That's all there is to really say. They played really well (Thursday). We expected that. So now we have to find a way to regroup, take the things we did well and do a little bit more of that on Saturday."

    The Storm went 15-2 at home -- tied for the best mark in the league -- but dropped 11 of 17 on the road, including an 81-79 defeat in their last visit to Phoenix on Aug. 16.

    While Seattle coach Brian Agler was pleased with his team's effort Thursday, his focus immediately turned to Game 2 following the one-sided result.

    "Wipe the slate clean. We've already talked about that," Agler said. "We played well (Thursday) and had a lot of people that did a lot of good things, but that's one game. It's a series. We're in it to win the series.

    "We're not thinking about anything else right now but Saturday."