DeLisha Milton-Jones of the Washington Mystics didn't believe Storm star Lauren Jackson was the WNBA MVP before Tuesday's game. Nearly two hours later...
WASHINGTON, D.C. — DeLisha Milton-Jones of the Washington Mystics didn’t believe Storm star Lauren Jackson was the WNBA MVP before Tuesday’s game.
Nearly two hours later, Milton-Jones’ answer was different.
Jackson tied a WNBA record with 47 points in Seattle’s 97-96 overtime loss to Washington on Tuesday. Milton-Jones guarded Jackson most of the game.
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“You just got to give it to the girl,” said Milton-Jones, her elbow and knees wrapped in ice after the game. “It’s more impressive to me knowing they just came off of a [eight-day] road trip and this was the last game. She should be leg weary at this point. But she comes out and almost gives us 50. Wow! That’s MVP-type numbers.”
Indiana’s Tamika Catchings was Milton-Jones’ MVP choice before the game. No longer.
“Tamika Catchings never did anything like that to me on any given night,” she said.
Only five players in league history have scored 40 or more, and two did it against Milton-Jones. When Milton-Jones played for the Sparks in 2001, Katie Smith scored 46 points for Minnesota.
Phoenix All-Star Diana Taurasi first set the record last summer in a triple-overtime win against Houston.
Jackson’s 47 is one of only three of the eight 40-plus games to come in a losing effort. The 6-foot-5 Australian was 11 for 18 from the field for 33 points in the second half, but the rest of the team was 9 for 28.
“It sucks,” Jackson said of scoring 47 but losing. “It would have been awesome if we had won, but … “
Most of Jackson’s points came inside. She was 2 of 4 on three-pointers.
The Storm had a sliver of a chance to win a game in which it had trailed by 12 points. The score was tied at 90 after a pass from Iziane Castro Marques to Tanisha Wright with 3:13 left in overtime. But Seattle guard Sue Bird’s shot was blocked by the Mystics’ Alana Beard, who then made a splashy three-pointer over Wright on the other end.
Jackson, who drew double-teams in the second half after single coverage from Milton-Jones in the first, missed a shot. Bird and reserve Wendy Palmer also missed baskets during the closing stretch, while Beard scored seven of her final 27 points in overtime.
The Mystics’ Monique Currie finished with 11 rebounds to complement her 23 points.
“Lauren is probably going to end her career as the best player that will ever come through the WNBA,” said Beard, who was one of three Mystics players to finish with 20 points or more. “She’s tremendous. But you know what? I came in the locker room and everybody was like, ‘Lauren Jackson scored 47.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, 47 and an ‘L.’ I’ll take that any day.
“DeLisha and Nakia [Sanford] did a great job on her. She had one of those nights where she was unstoppable and there’s nothing you can do as a defender.”
Defensively the Storm also allowed the Mystics (10-13) to score a season-high 28 points in the opening quarter and 31 in the third.
The Storm (12-12) travels home today after a 1-3 trip. Jackson has been away from Seattle since July 11, traveling after the Connecticut loss to Washington for the All-Star Game.
“I need to get home. I’m tired,” said Jackson, who also had 14 rebounds for her fourth consecutive double-double. “It’s been a long month. I need to get centered again and try to help the team figure out what we’re going to do to try to win games.”
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Only five players in WNBA history have scored 40 points or more:|
|* Overtime game **Triple-overtime|