Dream 72

(4-30, 3-14 away)

Storm 77

(22-11, 16-1 home)

    10:00 PM ET, September 12, 2008

    Key Arena, Seattle, WA

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 10 17 25 2072
    SEA 17 13 23 2477

    Top Performers

    Atlanta: T. Young 20 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Seattle: C. Little 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    Dream set record for losses in a season with 30

    Associated Press

    SEATTLE -- Even with most of their starters on the bench, the Seattle Storm had little trouble beating the Atlanta Dream.

    Camille Little scored a career-high 21 points and Katie Gearlds added a career-high 20 points to help the Storm to a 77-72 win over Atlanta on Friday night, giving the Dream the league record for most losses in a season.

    Atlanta finished the season 4-30. The Chicago Sky were 5-29 in 2006.

    "You can't fault what we did," Atlanta coach Marynell Meadors said. "I thought we had a very positive team. We lost a lot of games, probably around 14 of them, by less than 10 points. That's really tough, but we never lost our spirit."

    Seattle (22-11), which rested point guard Sue Bird, improved to a league-best 16-1 at home. The Storm finish the regular season at Los Angeles on Sunday.

    Tamera Young had 20 points for Atlanta.

    Tanisha Wright and Little were the only regular starters in the lineup for Seattle. The Storm acquired Little from Atlanta in June.

    Seattle coach Brian Agler rested starters Bird and Yolanda Griffith since the Storm already had clinched the Western Conference's No. 2 playoff berth. Bird and Griffith suited up, but did not play.

    "I want to be in as good of shape as we can be going into the playoffs," Agler said. "And that's a combination of getting people rested but not rusty."

    Agler said he had yet to decide whether he will rest his starters against Los Angeles. Storm starters Swin Cash (sore back) and Sheryl Swoopes (mild concussion) also did not play.

    Atlanta took its first lead at 52-51 on a basket by Erika DeSouza. But Little answered with a basket to give the Storm a 53-52 lead after three quarters.

    "We just decided to give the all stars on our team a little bit of a break, but we've been working hard all year," Gearlds said of getting a chance to start for just the second time this season. "We've been just waiting for the opportunity and tonight he [Agler] gave it to us. We took advantage of it and got ourselves a win."

    Gearlds' play impressed Agler.

    "I've probably coached her as hard as anybody on the team," Agler said. "I don't think what she's been doing is necessarily because of me. I think it's something that she's had inside her that we've tried to bring out. And I think even better things are ahead of her."

    Seattle led by 11 points in the first half before the Dream cut the lead to 28-27 late in the second quarter.

    The Storm's Lauren Jackson continues to recover from ankle surgery. Agler said he had no timeline on when Jackson might be able to return. She is not expected to be ready before the championship series.

    The Storm open the playoffs next Thursday or Friday on the road against the Western Conference's No. 4 seed, either Los Angeles or Sacramento, in a best-of-three series.

    The loss marked a tough end to the season for Atlanta guard Betty Lennox, who played the previous four seasons with the Storm.

    "It's been very tough, especially coming from a winning program," Lennox said. "I'm a very strong person and player, so I know how to deal with adversity. You just take the best of the cards you were dealt and try to stay positive throughout the whole thing."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Atlanta Seattle
    Points 72 77
    FG Made-Attempted 26-63 (.000) 29-61 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-19 (.263) 3-11 (.273)
    FT Made-Attempted 15-20 (.000) 16-21 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-32 10-30
    Assists 15 11
    Turnovers 14 10
    Steals 6 8
    Blocks 4 3
    Fast Break Points 4 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 18 (0/0)