Minnesota Lynx take series 2-1
The Seattle Storm’s roller coaster 2012 season came to an abrupt end on Tuesday night when Lauren Jackson’s last second turn around jump shot missed, resulting in a 73-72 loss to the Minnesota Lynx in the third and deciding game of the WNBA Western Conference Semi-Finals.
The Storm were once again led by Sue Bird, who put up another clutch performance when they team needed her in another do-or-die situation. The team also got big efforts from Camille Little and Tanisha Wright who checked in with 17 and 11 points, respectively.
Lauren Jackson had another tough shooting night, finishing 1-7 from the field. Despite her poor performance form the field, Jackson made all six of her free throws and nailed a clutch three pointer in the fourth quarter that wound up tying the game.
Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore carried the offense for the Lynx, combining for 41 of the teams 73 points, 21 coming from Augustus and 20 from Moore.
Rebekkah Brunson also had a big night scoring 16 points for the Lynx.
The Storm got off to a good Start right out of the gates in the first quarter, jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead. The Lynx would fire back with a run of their own tying the game at eight mid way through the quarter.
A late run in the quarter would give the Lynx the first quarter lead at 22-14, putting Seattle in a small hole to begin the second quarter.
The Storm were quickly able to rebound from this late first quarter run by the Lynx to take a brief lead with four minutes remaining in the first half. The Lynx were able to get a four point lead back until Tanisha Wright drilled a buzzer beating three-pointer to bring the Storm within one point at half time.
The Storm were unable to catch the Lynx in the third quarter, trailing the entire 10 minutes.
However, the Storm kept it close the entire way.
As it had been the entire series the Lynx were never quite able to pull away like they did during the regular season when they beat the Storm by an average of over 16 points a game. The Lynx never led the Storm by more than six points the entire quarter and took a four point lead into the fourth quarter.
The Storm finally caught the Lynx with just over seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to tie the game up at 60. Unfortunately, the team was never able to get the upper hand after tying the game at 60 and then at 62 as the Storm would spend the rest of the game trailing.
A late three pointer by Sue Bird put the Storm within one point, and, after a key defensive stop, the Storm got the ball back trailing by one with 3.3 seconds remaining.
Jackson got the ball on the inbound play and tried a turn around jump shot that had put many opponents away in the past but she could not get it to fall, ending the game at 73-72 for the Lynx.
After defeating the Storm 2-1 in the best of three series, the Lynx will move on to play the Los Angeles Sparks in the Western Conference Finals while the Storm will begin an off-season of promise after giving the defending WNBA Champions all that they could handle.