It may have been easy for the Storm to double-down on Phoenix star DeWanna Bonner, holding her to a season-low seven points. Seattle used that defense to get out in transition and use crisp passing (season-high 24 assists) to collect a 72-58 win Thursday.
But that kind of hustle may not work against Los Angeles All-Star Candace Parker. The Storm (10-10) is 0-4 against the Sparks (15-6) going into Saturday’s game at KeyArena. Parker has had some of her best games of the season against the rival, including scoring 21 points with 10 rebounds and six blocks in the second game of the season. LA won 74-61. In the last meeting, Parker finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists to help give the Sparks a 83-59 win.
C Ann Wauters was out in that game due to her Achilles injury. F Tina Thompson suffered her knee and ankle injury during the game and PG Sue Bird was out due to a strained hip flexor. Of course Lauren Jackson was missing, prepping for the Olympics with her native Australia.
And all four of those players could be out, again. Bird is recovering from stomach flu while Wauters’ left Achilles is taking longer than hoped to heal. She may participate in warmups with the team, but will not play.
Thompson played 15 minutes against Phoenix, but she and coach Brian Agler want to see how the injury responds before guaranteeing any minutes Saturday. Jackson remains in Australia.