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Storm overcome Sales' record 32 points

SEATTLE (AP) -- Betty Lennox and the Seattle Storm withstood a
record-setting performance by Connecticut's Nykesha Sales and
forced a decisive third game in the WNBA Finals.

Sales scored a WNBA Finals-record 32 points, but missed a
3-pointer as time expired, giving Seattle a 67-65 win in Game 2 of
the league finals Sunday night.

Game 3 will be Tuesday night (ESPN2, 9 p.m. ET) in Seattle.

Sales and Lennox turned Game 2 into an individual showcase that
came down to the final shot.

Sales set finals records for most points, most field goals in a
game (14) and most points in a half (21). She made seven
consecutive shots before hitting the side of the backboard with no
time remaining.

But it was Lennox coming out on top, scoring a season-high 27
points for Seattle.

"I was just trying to put more buckets on the scoreboard than
she was,'' Lennox said. "My mentality wasn't to force it, just
take what the defense gave me.''

Lennox went 11-for-16 and took advantage of her matchup with
rookie Lindsay Whalen. Seattle's other starters combined to shoot
just 10-for-36.

"Two players that really weren't highlighted coming into the
series just took over,'' Seattle coach Anne Donovan said. "One
great play after another at both ends.

"It was fun to watch. I'm glad we're going to Game 3.''

With Connecticut down 13 in the second half, Sales made sure the
Sun would not fade away. She scored 15 points in the final 7 minutes, 14 seconds of
the game as Connecticut rallied to tie the score at 57 with 5:20
left.

"The ball was just going in for me, so I just tried to create a
little more,'' Sales said.

The Sun, who never led in the game, quickly fell behind 63-57
after a 6-0 run by Seattle. Lennox made two baskets and Kamila Vodichkova
added another to give Seattle a six-point lead with less than four
minutes left.

Sales answered, scoring five points in the final 90 seconds to
help pull the Sun within two at 67-65. Lennox missed with 14
seconds left, and Seattle's Sheri Sam got the rebound but was tied up
by Sales.

Seattle's Lauren Jackson corralled the ensuing jump ball, but
Katie Douglas came up with a steal and called timeout with 3.1
seconds left.

On Connecticut's final chance, Sales had an open look on a
3-pointer from the corner, but hit the side of the backboard.

Sales said she wasn't sure how much time was left and rushed the
shot.

"I thought our last shot was in, but Nykesha got herself a
little too deep,'' Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said. "We got
the shot that we wanted.''

Jackson added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Seattle, which shot
24-for-62. Sue Bird had 10 points.

Katie Douglas scored 14 for Connecticut, which won the series
opener 68-64
.

The game drew an announced sellout crowd of 17,072 to KeyArena,
despite the Seattle Seahawks playing the St. Louis Rams at Qwest
Field just across town.

The Storm led by five at halftime and tried to take control
early in the second half.

With just less than 19 minutes left, Connecticut's Wendy Palmer
strained her right shoulder trying to tie up Vodichkova.

Palmer did not return, and without her presence in the paint,
Jackson scored back-to-back baskets to key a 13-4 run, giving
Seattle a 52-39 lead.

Palmer and Taj McWilliams-Franklin combined for just two points
in Game 2 after teaming up for 26 points and 14 rebounds in Game 1.

"Palmer getting 16 points on us in Game 1 is a back breaker.
You don't expect those players to step up and score like that,''
Donovan said. "We talked about that and tried to get a better
focus on that.''

Seattle fed off the huge crowd and was on the verge of turning
the game into a blowout early, scoring 11 of the first 13 points
and taking a 22-10 lead after just nine minutes.

Seattle's offense then began to struggle, and the Storm hit just
four of their next 20 shots as Connecticut pulled within five points, 35-30, at
halftime.