After weeks apart for their respective Olympic teams, the tandum of Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson returned to the Key for the Seattle Storm, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, in Seattle. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Dean Rutz)
SEATTLE — A native Australian, Lauren Jackson showed every bit of jet lag. She also couldn’t hide the rust from not playing since winning bronze at the London Olympics on Aug. 11. Or even the travel in that span from London to Sydney to Seattle, landing late Monday.
Teammates helped filled the void, again. But the support was five tenths of a second too short as Indiana stole a 68-66 win before a season-low 5,819 fans at KeyArena on Thursday.
“We got outplayed the last four minutes of the game,” Storm coach Brian Agler said.
The Storm was up 66-53 after a Sue Bird jumper with 4:04 remaining the game. The Fever (13-8) went on a ferocious 15-0 run, exposing everything but the Storm undergarments to swipe the win.
Indiana guard Shavonte Zellous sank a three-pointer off a baseline feed from point guard Briann January of Lewis and Clark High in Spokane for the win at the buzzer. Zellous finished with 10 points while reigning MVP Tamika Catchings led with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
“They stole one,” said Bird, who finished with 14 points and four turnovers. “We had a chance to put them away, and we relaxed.”
Jackson had two of the Storm’s three turnovers during the Fever’s run. One was off an inbounds pass that gave Fever center Jessica Davenport an open jumper to shrink the lead to 66-63 with 1:57 left.
Jackson later flubbed a drive to the hoop, which led to another Davenport score. Then Davenport blocked guard Tanisha Wright with 17.9 seconds left to set up Indiana’s final play.
“There comes a point and time where you’ve got to make plays at the end of the game,” said Agler, whose team lost three consecutive home games for the first time since 2006.
“We’ve got a team in there that’s used to winning those games,” he continued. “We’ve got a coaching staff that’s used to winning those games. We have fans that are used to winning those games, and we didn’t.”
Forward Camille Little led Seattle with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Jackson was 1 for 4 from the field in 25 minutes for four points and six boards. She collected her own rebound and nailed a three-pointer at the top of the key in the third quarter for her first basket of the 2012 season. The shot helped the Storm take a 51-42 lead into the final quarter.
“I just didn’t fit in,” Jackson said of her overall play. “It doesn’t help the girls. It doesn’t help having someone with a presence like mine coming in and not knowing the plays. But that’s OK. It’ll come.”