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Storm maintain home-court advantage against Liberty

SEATTLE -- The burst of speed Iziane Castro Marques uses on
fast breaks reminds Lauren Jackson of the cartoon character Road
Runner.

Castro Marques made four 3-pointers, converted several
fast-break layups and scored 24 points to lead the Seattle Storm to
an 84-53 victory over the New York Liberty on Sunday night.

"She's like that road racer, or whatever it was, that cartoon,
beep, beep," said Jackson, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
"She's amazing. She just goes."

Betty Lennox had nine points, 10 rebounds and six assists in
only 21 minutes for the Storm (8-7), who have won three of their
past four. Seattle is 6-2 at home.

Castro Marques shot 9-for-12 from the field, including 4-for-6
on 3-pointers. She scored seven in the third quarter to help
the Storm lead by 31 points.

Loree Moore scored 10 to lead the Liberty (8-8), who have lost
four of five and endured their most lopsided loss of the season.

"I thought we competed for the first 12 minutes of the first
half and then we started missing shots and everything broke down,"
New York coach Pat Coyle said.

Seattle outscored the Liberty 19-4 in the final six minutes of
the first half to lead 45-28 at halftime. The Liberty had cut the
lead to 26-24 before Lennox, Jackson and Castro Marques scored 15
of the next 19 points for the Storm.

Castro Marques and Jackson went to the bench with 6:18 left in
the game and a 31-point lead. Jackson averaged 31 points and 10
rebounds in the previous three games. She leads the league in
scoring.

"I played tired and lethargic and looked it," said Jackson,
who shot 4-for-12 from the field.

Despite Jackson scoring only half of her season average, the
Storm won easily. Castro Marques led the team in scoring for the
first time since she scored 25 in the season opener against
Houston. She had failed to score in double figures in the previous
five games as her average dropped to 9.8.

"My role is not to be the best shooter on the team," Castro
Marques said. "I'm defending and getting rebounds."

Castro Marques doesn't hesitate to speed to the basket when she
finds an open lane.

"I'm faster than most of the players, so if I do that I'm going
to get an advantage on them," Castro Marques said.

Seattle coach Anne Donovan loves to watch Castro Marques finish
on fast breaks.

"She's improved so much," Donovan said. "She used to get out
in the open court and if there was traffic she struggled to finish
or to get to the free-throw line and would just toss the ball up
there. Now she's one of the best because she can get out and finish
and focus through the contact."

Cathrine Kraayeveld, who entered the game as the top rebounder
and third-leading scorer for the Liberty, had seven points and one
rebound in her return home. She played high school basketball in
the Seattle area.

Seattle's Sue Bird became the fifth WNBA player to reach 1,000
career assists with an assist in the first quarter. She finished
with 11 points and four assists. Bird hit two 3-pointers in the
first quarter coming off a scoreless game in a loss Thursday at
Houston.