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Storm Tops Mercury, 90-82

June 15, 2002

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PHOENIX (AP) _ Lauren Jackson had 23 points and Felicia Ragland added 19 points, six assists and three steals to lead the Seattle Storm to a 90-82 victory over Phoenix on Friday night, snapping the Mercury’s four-game winning streak.

Phoenix coach Cynthia Cooper left the team before the game to go to Houston, where a surrogate mother was set to give birth to Cooper’s twins. Assistant coach Linda Sharp, the former coach of the Los Angeles Sparks, ran the team in Cooper’s absence.

Ragland, who had scored seven points in four games and none in the last two, was 7-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-5 from beyond the 3-point line, for the Storm (4-3).

Ragland had two fastbreak layups in the first two minutes as Seattle took a 13-4 lead by taking advantage of four Mercury turnovers in the first five minutes.

Phoenix (4-2), which fell behind by as many as 17 points on Thursday night before coming back to beat Detroit, trailed by as many as 19 against Seattle and never got closer than four in the second half.

Adriana Moises hit a 3-pointer and then made two free throws with 47 seconds left to cut the lead to 86-82.

Sue Bird made two free throws with 38 seconds left and Phoenix’s Jennifer Gillom missed a 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go. Semeka Randall added two more free throws with 18 seconds left.

Gillom had 25 points, 11 during a stretch early in the second half as the Mercury cut the lead to 52-44.

Bird, the Storm’s leading scorer and the league’s No. 1 overall draft pick, was held to 14 points, three under her average. Kamila Vodichkova added 11 points and nine rebounds for Seattle.

Moises had 20 points and Lisa Harrison added 16 for the Mercury.

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