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Sleepy Storm puts out the Fire

Mercury rises to scorch the Sol in Phoenix

SHARE Sleepy Storm puts out the Fire

PORTLAND, Ore. — A little extra sleep might have been just what the Seattle Storm needed to fix their losing streak.

Lauren Jackson had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Jamie Redd added 18 points as the Storm broke a three-game losing streak by beating the Portland Fire 61-56 Wednesday night.

Redd scored 15 points in the final 9:16 as Seattle pulled away, and Jackson had her second consecutive double-double after getting the WNBA franchise's first ever in a four-overtime loss to Washington on Tuesday.

"We didn't shoot around today — we needed to sleep more than we needed to shoot," Seattle coach Lin Dunn said. "We learned a lot and we grew from (Tuesday's loss), and we just wanted it to carry over.

"I knew we would get a great effort."

Jackie Stiles had 18 points and Sophia Witherspoon scored 11 for the Fire, who shot only 32 percent from the field.

Portland led 47-40 after Witherspoon and Tamicha Jackson each made two free throws, but the Storm responded with an 11-0 run.

"They played with a lot more heart and grit and determination in the last five minutes than we did," Portland coach Linda Hargrove said.

Lauren Jackson had two free throws that tied the game at 47 with 7:39 left, then hit one of two 13 seconds later to give the Storm the lead for good.

"Finally, a win," Jackson said. "That loss was awful, but it was definitely a learning experience. We came back a better team.

"We played for three hours, didn't get to sleep until 3 a.m., then we beat Portland. That's a credit to the team."

MERCURY 60, SOL 47: At Phoenix, Kristen Veal credited her newfound success to backing off a bit.

The 19-year-old Veal scored a career-high 16 points Wednesday night as the Phoenix Mercury beat the Miami Sol 60-47 to snap a four-game losing streak.

Jennifer Gillom, who added 14 points for the Mercury (5-9), said the game could be a turning point for the team that had several narrow losses with scoring star Brandy Reed still suspended.

"I saw a fire in the eyes, that they want to win and we're tired of losing," Gillom said of her teammates.

Maria Stepanova had nine points, including a pair of layups, during an 8-0 run late in the game.