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Basketball - 22. May 2007.

USA - Iziane, Jackson make Storm-ing start to new campaign

NEW YORK (WNBA) - Brazilian international superstar Iziane scored 25 points to lead the Seattle Storm to a 82-69 come-from-behind victory over the Houston Comets.

The Storm went on a 30-6 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters, with Betty Lennox pouring in 13 of her 15 points in the surge.

Iziane, who will be playing for Brazil's women later this year at the FIBA Americas Championship for Women, made eight of 13 shots from the floor and Australian international Lauren Jackson scored 23 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked three shots as Seattle snapped a five-game losing streak to Houston.

USA international Sue Bird, fresh from her EuroLeague Women and Superleague Women double-winning campaign with Spartak Moscow Region, added 11 points for the Storm, who shot 45% (28 of 62).

Ashley Shields led the Comets with 19 points.

A Shock win

Plenette Pierson and the Detroit Shock started the 2007 season the same way they ended the last.

Pierson scored 22 points off the bench as the Shock posted a 75-68 season-opening victory over the Sacramento Monarchs in a rematch of last year's WNBA Finals.

Deanna Nolan and Katie Smith added 12 points apiece for Detroit, who rallied from a 2-1 deficit last year to capture the franchise's second championship in five games.

Nolan, who recently played for Gambrinus Sika Brno in the EuroLeague Women and was the MVP of last year's WNBA Finals, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out four assists.

Chelsea Newton and Kara Lawson scored 14 points for Sacramento, who were pounded on the boards by a 36-22 margin.

A Thorn in Chicago's side

Erin Thorn scored a career-high 28 points as the New York Liberty posted an 83-71 victory over the Chicago Sky in the season opener for both teams on Sunday.

Mercury rising

USA international Diana Taurasi, a team-mate of Bird's and Jackson at Spartak Moscow Region, scored 20 points and Tangela Smith added 17 as the Mercury ran out to an early lead and hung on for an 81-72 victory over the San Antonio Silver Stars in the season opener for both teams on Saturday night.

Kelly Miller scored 15 points for Phoenix, who have won eight straight games, including the last seven contests of last season.

Sun sets on Washington

Nykesha Sales scored 20 points to lead the Connecticut Sun to an 89-80 victory over the Washington Mystics on Saturday in the season opener for both clubs.

Last season's leading scorer, USA international Katie Douglas, got off to a slow start, but nailed some big shots down the stretch, and Lindsay Whalen poured in 18 points to help ensure the win.

Sales poured in 13 of her 20 points in the first half as Connecticut jumped out to a 49-42 half-time lead.

Douglas, who averaged 16.3 points last season, had only seven points late in the fourth quarter before coming up strong down the stretch. Douglas nailed a three-pointer with 1:45 remaining in the game to give Connecticut a 79-78 lead.

The Mystics took their last lead of the game at the 1:24 mark when Nakia Sanford nailed an eight-foot jumper for an 80-79 advantage. Sanford scored 11 points in 24 minutes off the bench.

The Sun did not allow another point. Whalen and Douglas closed the final minute with four free throws a piece to seal the win.

Fever blow out Lynx

Anna DeForge's big third quarter helped the Indiana Fever open their season on a winning note.

DeForge scored six of her 10 points in the third and Tan White added 17 overall as the Fever posted an 83-64 victory over the Minnesota Lynx in the season opener for both teams Saturday.

Jeff Taylor

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