The Storm started off the playoffs in winning fashion, pulling away from the Phoenix Mercury with a 20-2 run in the third quarter and taking Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals by an 80-61 final.
The Storm claimed home court advantage for a playoff series against the Phoenix Mercury with an 85-70 win over Phoenix Friday night at KeyArena. Katie Smith sparked the Storm with 26 points and the defense held the Mercury to a season-low 70 points despite 36 from Diana Taurasi.
After Brian Agler predicted Ashley Robinson would win Most Improved Player, Robinson has backed it up with her play this season.
The WNBA announced Monday that Storm guard Katie Smith has been named Western Conference Player of the Week after averaging 21.5 points and making 10 three-pointers in the Storm's pair of wins.
With Lauren Jackson resting, the Storm withstood 30 points from Sylvia Fowles to beat Chicago at KeyArena in Sunday's regular-season finale.
Sunday night saw two important milestones at KeyArena. Katie Smith became the third player in WNBA history to score 6,000 career points, while Brian Agler tied Van Chancellor for the most coaching wins in women's pro basketball history.
The Storm and Mercury are meeting for the second year in a row and third time in the last five postseasons. By combining for three championships in that span, the teams have created an entertaining rivalry.
Storm-Mercury games are a little like reunions because of the ties between the two teams. Four Storm players played in Phoenix, while Brian Agler was an assistant for the Mercury. The best friends of all might be respective stars Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi.
The Storm heads to the postseason having won eight of the last nine games, leading to optimism among players and coaches that the team's best basketball of the season will carry over.
During their 10th seasons in the WNBA, Storm teammates Sue Bird and Swin Cash have both joined the exclusive 4,000-point club. StormBasketball.com celebrates the accomplishment.
Before and during Sunday's game against the Chicago Sky on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Storm will pay tribute to local heroes in the military and first responders.
In another game that wasn't decided until the final buzzer, Sue Bird drew a foul with 1.6 seconds left and made the winning free throws to lift the Storm to a 65-63 win over the Los Angeles Sparks Sunday at KeyArena.
The Storm seized control with a 13-0 run in the second quarter, then held on for a 78-72 win Friday night in Tulsa that clinched a trip to the playoffs.
Down just five in the last two minutes, the Storm could not make the big shot to cut into the lead during a 68-62 loss Tuesday in Los Angeles. The loss snapped a four-game Storm winning streak.
The Storm pulled away Saturday night in San Antonio with a 15-4 run to start the fourth quarter, sweeping a back-to-back set of road games.