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WNBA News and Notes Tuesday 6/9

WNBA News and Notes Tuesday 6/9

Tuesday's WNBA Best Bet

Seattle Storm at Indiana Fever

In the compressed WNBA schedule, both the Seattle Storm and the Indiana Fever opened the season with games on consecutive days. The Storm handled it much better than the Fever.

Seattle looks for a third straight victory Tuesday night when it starts a three-game trip in Indiana, where the Fever are looking to recover from a lopsided loss and an injury to star forward Tamika Catchings.

The Storm (2-0) opened the season by sweeping a home-and-home series with Sacramento, including an 80-70 victory Sunday. They believe the back-to-back games served as good preparation for this trip, which includes visits to Minnesota and Chicago.

"It's a tough schedule, but this is a good start," Seattle point guard Sue Bird said. "It was mentally challenging more than anything else. Hopefully that will help us going into the next three games."

Following a double-overtime loss Saturday at Atlanta to open the season, Indiana (0-2) returned home to lose 96-74 to Minnesota on Sunday. The Fever allowed 34 points in the first quarter on 92.9 percent shooting (13 for 14) - and the 96 points were the most ever scored by a visiting team in Indiana.

"We were flat the whole game," Indiana coach Lin Dunn said Sunday. "For a while, I thought we were still on the airplane."

Catchings sat out the second half Sunday with a right quadriceps injury and is listed as day to day.

Things won't get any easier for Indiana this week with visits by perennial MVP candidates Lauren Jackson of Seattle and Lisa Leslie of Los Angeles (Friday). Jackson averaged 24.0 points on 60.7 shooting over the weekend for the Storm.

She scored Seattle's first eight points Sunday in her first home game since July 12, when she left the club to go to Australia to prepare for the Beijing Olympics. Jackson also finished with four blocks.

"She looked good," Storm coach Brian Agler said. "She looked a little fatigued as the game went on. She's one of the best, if not the best. She can really get it going. Early on, she got us off to a great start."

Meanwhile, former Storm center Yolanda Griffith scored a team-high 17 points off the bench for Indiana on Sunday. Griffith started 30 games for Seattle last year after playing her first nine WNBA seasons with Sacramento.

"We didn't plan on starting 0-2," Griffith said. "But we're going to come back tomorrow and work hard and not dwell on it. We've got 32 more games to play this year. We could run off 15 in a row, you just never know. We are not going to worry about these two games."

Seattle swept both meetings from Indiana last season. Jackson and Catchings did not play for their respective teams in the Storm's 65-59 win at Indiana on July 18.

Pick: Storm

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