The Seattle Storm (29-6) overcame its postseason curse when playing the Los Angeles Sparks (14-21) with a victory in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal Wednesday night. Swin Cash scored 18 points in the win over the Sparks in front of a crowd of 10,589 at KeyArena.
Seattle came into the matchup with the league’s best record and a perfect 17-0 record at home. This marks the third straight year in which the two teams met in the first round of the playoffs. In 2008 and 2009 the Sparks eliminated the Storm in the first round.
The Sparks are one loss from elimination in the best-of-three series. During the regular season the Storm swept the series against the Sparks 5-0.
“I really thought it came to our defense,” said Storm forward Swin Cash about the key to winning against the Los Angeles.
Storm point guard Sue Bird had 12 assists to go along with her nine points. She was just two assists short of the playoff assist record she set in 2004 versus Sacramento on October 5, 2004. Other Storm players in double digits included Lauren Jackson with 17 points and Camille Little and Jana Vesela with 11 each. Jackson also had nine rebounds.
Marie Ferdinand-Harris led the Sparks with 18 points.
The series continues in Los Angeles on Saturday, August 28 at 3 p.m. ET at the Staples Center. It will be televised on ESPN2 and streamed on ESPN3.com.