SEATTLE (AP) — Lauren Jackson had 31 points and 15 rebounds to lead the short-handed Seattle Storm to an 86-72 victory over the San Antonio Silver Stars on Tuesday night.
Despite playing without leading All-Star vote-getter Sue Bird, Seattle (14-2) matched the 1999 Houston Comets and 2002 Los Angeles Sparks for the fourth-best start in league history.
Swin Cash scored 16 points, and Svetlana Abrosimova, Tanisha Wright and Le'coe Willingham each had 11 for the Storm, who are now 10-0 in Western Conference play. Wright, starting at point guard in Bird's absence, also had 12 assists.
Becky Hammon scored 24 points and Chamique Holdsclaw had 16 to lead the second-place Silver Stars (5-8).
Bird played just 2 minutes before leaving due to back spasms in the Storm's come-from-behind win over Tulsa on Sunday. Seattle coach Brian Agler said she was a game-time decision after participating in a morning shootaround. She was in uniform for the game but didn't play.
After committing a season-high 25 turnovers against Tulsa with Bird out, Seattle had a season-low eight against San Antonio.
Jackson had 18 points in the second half and Cash scored 13 as the Storm began to pull away.
After a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws from Hammon pulled the Silver Stars within 10 late in the third quarter, the Storm answered with a 16-4 run to put the game out of reach.
Wright helped the Storm build an early lead, attacking the basket and scoring six points in the opening minutes as Seattle jumped ahead 14-4.
Jackson then took command inside scoring 13 points to keep the Storm comfortably in front in the first half.
Holdsclaw had 13 points to keep the Silver Stars in the game. San Antonio closed within six late in the half, but Le'Coe Willingham made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half, giving the Storm a 36-27 lead.