Storm rally beats Silver Stars, 64-55

SAN ANTONIO – Shannon Johnson scored 16 points and Janell Burse added 15 to lead the Seattle Storm to a 64-55 win over the San Antonio Silver Stars on Saturday.

Suzy Batkovic-Brown and Ashley Walker each added 11 points as Seattle ended a three-game losing streak.

“We just tried to get the win, which was the most important thing and trying to get that 20th win for our season,” Johnson said.

The Storm (20-14), locked in to the second seed and scheduled to face third-seeded Los Angeles in the first round Wednesday, didn’t play four players. Sue Bird (sore neck) was on the bench, while Lauren Jackson (back stress fracture), Katie Gearlds (injured left knee) and Swin Cash (personal reasons) didn’t travel.

Shanna Crossely came off the bench to lead the Silver Stars (15-19) with 12 points.

The Silver Stars had already secured the fourth seed when Minnesota Lynx lost to the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday night. Headed for a matchup with top-seeded Phoenix scheduled for Thursday night, starters Becky Hammon and Sophia Young were not in uniform.

The Silver Stars opened the second half leading 27-26, but Seattle took a 38-31 lead with 5 minutes left in the third quarter behind Johnson’s seven points.

San Antonio came back to cut the lead to three on a three-point play by Erin Perperoglou with 3:47 remaining to make it 54-51, but La’Tangela Atkinson’s steal and layup at 2 minutes pushed the lead back up to 59-51.

“Shannon did a great job controlling the tempo and La’Tagela was a blessing in the sky for us,” Storm coach Brian Angler said. “She can rebound and comes with steals, which helped us.”

Johnson sealed it with a 29-foot 3-pointer with 30 seconds to go.

San Antonio struggled with turnovers all night, committing 20 that led to 23 Storm points.

“I didn’t think we would turn it over as much as we did,” Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said “I just don’t think we were as smooth offensively with that.”