SEATTLE (AP) - Katie Smith and Camille Little had 17 points apiece to lead the defending WNBA champion Seattle Storm to an 81-70 win over the Chicago Sky on Sunday night.
Swin Cash added 15, and Sue Bird had 10 for Seattle (21-13), which has won eight of nine. The Storm had already secured the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
Sylvia Fowles scored 19 of her 30 points in the fourth quarter to lead Chicago (14-20), which finished fifth in the Eastern Conference and failed to make the playoffs. Fowles made all 12 of her free throw attempts.
Cathrine Kraayeveld added 12 points for Chicago.
Seattle's Lauren Jackson sat out to rest for the playoff opener Thursday at home against Phoenix. Jackson had played in eight straight games, including seven Storm wins, since returning from a hip injury that sidelined her for 20 games.
Kraayeveld hit a 3-pointer to help Chicago cut a 12-point deficit to five before Little, Smith and Le'coe Willingham responded with baskets to put the Storm up 57-47 after three quarters.
Little and Bird scored 10 each, and Cash added nine to help give Seattle a 41-33 halftime lead.
Bird scored seven, and Smith added five to help the Storm to a 26-17 first-quarter lead. Fowles scored eight in the half.
Smith hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter to break 6,000 career points. Smith, in her first year with the Storm, ranks third behind Tina Thompson and Lisa Leslie.
The Storm improved to 15-2 at home and holds home-court advantage in the best-of-three series against Phoenix. Seattle won the season series 3-1.
Seattle has advanced to the playoffs eight straight years, and won the championship in 2004 and 2010. Phoenix won the 2009 title.
Chicago rookie Courtney Vandersloot scored five in her hometown return.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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