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Melvin and Beard Combine for 30 Points, Mystics Win

STORM 70, LYNX 58: In Minneapolis, Lauren Jackson overcame foul trouble to score 14 points -- 12 in the second half -- to lead Seattle past Minnesota in the first game of the teams' WNBA Western Conference semifinal series.

Sheri Sam added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Storm, which shot 48 percent from the field to notch its first playoff win in franchise history.


Washington's Alana Beard (13 points) drives around Connecticut's Taj McWilliams-Franklin. Chasity Melvin led Mystics with 17 points, 11 rebounds. (Joel Richardson -- The Washington Post)

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Nicole Ohlde led Minnesota with 17 points, and Tamika Williams added 16 points and eight rebounds.

Seattle jumped out to a 9-1 lead but Jackson, the league's top scorer at 20.5 points per game, picked up her third foul with 16:22 to play in the first half and did not return before the break. Minnesota took advantage of her absence, using a 13-0 run to take a 20-15 lead. Amanda Lassiter hit three three-pointers during the run.

But the Storm bounced back with a 12-0 run of its own, keyed by a pair of baskets by center Kamila Vodichkova, and led 32-24 at the half.

Jackson returned strong, shooting 4 for 4 from the floor and the free throw line in the second half, picking up only one more foul as the Storm pulled away.

"I was liking our chances halfway through the first half," said Minnesota Coach Suzie McConnell Serio, who was named WNBA coach of the year yesterday. "But those 20 turnovers, and the 20 points they scored off them, really hurt us."

The Storm played without starting guard Betty Lennox in the second half. She scored eight points before suffering a mild concussion in a first-half collision with a Lynx player.

The Storm has two chances to finish off the best-of-three series in Seattle tomorrow and Wednesday, if necessary.


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