Jackson scored her 6,000th career point as the Storm won, 84-75.
Lauren Jackson achieved a career milestone and motivated her team.
Then she took a seat.
Jackson scored 11 points in 11 minutes, including her 6,000th career point in an 84-75 win against San Antonio in Seattle’s regular-season finale at KeyArena. The Storm (15-18) won’t play in the stadium again until Sept. 30 — Game 2 of the opening round of the Western Conference playoff series against top-seeded Minnesota (27-6).
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“She played amazing,” Storm center Ann Wauters said of Jackson. “I have no idea how she does that.”
Jackson’s milestone was a culmination of a 12-year career. This summer was one of her hardest, given the native Australian’s absence the first half of the season to compete in the London Olympics. She also had to quickly meld into the new Storm roster and recover from another injury.
But her 6,000th point in the second quarter was a flashback to some of Jackson’s MVP seasons. She darted to the basket, sending the ball through the hoop with one hand. You could barely tell the Aussie missed the previous three games with a hamstring injury, needing an injection earlier this week to dull nerve pain.
“I thought it was the best she’s played rhythm-wise since she’s been back,” Storm coach Brian Agler said of Jackson, who shot 5 for 7. “She was moving well and shot the ball well. That was the reason her minutes gave us a chance to get a lead.”
San Antonio called a timeout after Jackson reached the mark, giving the 8,494 fans more time to celebrate. Like teammate Tina Thompson on Tuesday, when she scored her WNBA-record 7,000th point, Jackson was befuddled at the commotion.
“I was like, ‘Damn, that must have been a really nice layup,’ ” she said.
The shot helped the Storm outscore the Silver Stars 28-12 in the quarter and go into halftime with a commanding 48-29 lead. Seattle never trailed, but San Antonio pulled to 79-75 with 31 seconds remaining in the game following a deep three-pointer by guard Shameka Christon.
But then Storm guard Tanisha Wright made three of four free throws, and guard Katie Smith sank two in the closing seconds to preserve the win.
“There was a little relaxation on our part, and we weren’t running great offense,” said Smith, who had16 points and six assists. “We needed to buckle up.”
When San Antonio made its earlier stabs at a comeback, Wauters collected rebounds for put-back baskets and drew fouls. She also made jumpers over the Silver Stars’ smaller lineup to finish with 14 points and 13 rebounds off the bench.
The Silver Stars (20-13) haven’t won at KeyArena since 2007. After winning a franchise-best 12 consecutive games in midseason, the Silver Stars have won only four of their past 12 games.
San Antonio was able to retain its No. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoffs because of Seattle’s futility.
“We feel like this is a very interesting playoff situation in the West,” San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said. “You have three teams that have won 20 games and Seattle is getting healthy. It’s must-see TV.”
• Storm reserve Svetlana Abrosimova didn’t play due to a sprained her right wrist. She’s listed as day-to-day.
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Percentages: FG .365, FT .933. Three-point goals: 7-26, .269 (Christon 3-9, Morrison 1-2, T.Smith 1-2, Adams 1-4, Hammon 1-6, Robinson 0-1, Johnson 0-2). Team rebounds: 6. Team turnovers: 10 (16 PTS). Blocked shots: 2 (Adams, Christon). Turnovers: 10 (Adams 3, Young 3, Appel 2, Hammon, T.Smith). Steals: 10 (Young 4, Johnson 2, Appel, Bevilaqua, Hammon, Robinson). Technical fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .469, FT .800. Three-point goals: 8-23, .348 (K.Smith 2-4, Bird 2-7, Little 1-1, Jackson 1-2, Wauters 1-2, Stricklen 1-3, Thompson 0-1, Wright 0-3). Team rebounds: 5. Team turnovers: 12 (10 PTS). Blocked shots: 5 (Wauters 2, Jackson, Little, Thompson). Turnovers: 11 (Bird 3, Little 3, Wauters 2, Wright 2, Thompson). Steals: 5 (Bird 3, Jackson, Little). Technical fouls: None.
|San Antonio||17||12||25||21 — 75|
|Seattle||20||28||14||22 — 84|
Attendance: 8,494 (9,686). Time: 1:53. Officials: Michael Price, Tom Mauer, Brenda Pantoja.