Liberty 53

(8-8, 3-5 away)

Storm 84

(8-7, 6-2 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    9:00 PM ET, July 1, 2007

    Key Arena, Seattle, WA

    1 2 3 4 T
    NY 16 12 12 1353
    SEA 24 21 23 1684

    Top Performers

    New York: L. Moore 10 Pts, 2 Reb, 6 Ast, 3 Stl

    Seattle: I. Castro Marques 24 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast

    Storm maintain home-court advantage against Liberty

    Associated Press

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      New York Seattle
    Points 53 84
    FG Made-Attempted 21-64 (.000) 31-71 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 6-22 (.273) 9-21 (.429)
    FT Made-Attempted 5-6 (.000) 13-14 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-25 15-48
    Assists 12 19
    Turnovers 16 14
    Steals 12 9
    Blocks 4 4
    Fast Break Points 4 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 8 (0/0)