Wednesday, August 26, 2009 12:25 AM
SEATTLE -- Janell Burse scored 14 points and Sue Bird added 13 to help the Seattle Storm shoot their way to a 78-68 win over the Washington Mystics on Tuesday night.
Burse added six rebounds and matched her season-high with 29 minutes.
"She's part of us playing better as a team," Storm head coach Brian Agler said. "She's on task defensively, she's rebounding the ball. We would like to get a few more offensive boards from her."
"She had some nice post moves tonight -- made a couple good passes. That's one reason why I think we're on the upswing is because of her play." The added minutes helped Burse get into a flow.
"The more I'm out there, the most comfortable I get," Burse said. "I have never played well in spurts and just the ability to be out there for an extended period of time and get the flow of the game and get up and down and catch my second wind is better for me." Seattle went on a 31-9 run early on to turn the game into a rout. The Storm hit five three-pointers during the spurt and took a 39-16 advantage midway through the second quarter. They led 47-24 at the half after hitting seven 3's.
"We've got some good shooters on this team," Agler said. "It was just one of those things, you sort of get on a roll. They had a good rhythm early in the game and when you get that momentum, all of a sudden, the adrenaline flows and you start playing." Monique Currie and Marissa Coleman each had 13 points to lead Washington (13-15), which remained in a two-way tie for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"Our team is a team that bounces back," Mystics head coach Julie Plank said. "I think they're fighters. They generally want to win and do the right think. It's just a matter of getting that consistency and getting that group together and building that championship mentality." Washington cut the deficit to 14 in the fourth quarter, but could get no closer.
The Storm (16-11) remained two games in front of third place Los Angeles in the Western Conference. Seattle is one win away from clinching a playoff spot.