SEATTLE (AP) — Tina Thompson scored 10 points to become the first WNBA player to reach the 7,000 for her career and help the Seattle Storm beat the Chicago Sky 75-60 on Tuesday night. Ann Wauters scored 16 points, Katie Smith added 13 and Ewelina Kobryn had 12 for Seattle (14-18). The Storm, who already have clinched a ninth consecutive playoff berth, snapped a four-game losing streak.
“I didn’t know about it until today,” Thompson said about the chance to break 7,000 points. “Winning is first and foremost for me. These things are great and it’s something I’ll probably relish in and enjoy after my career. But for me winning is always first so getting a win definitely makes it sweeter.”
Epiphanny Prince had 21 points and Shay Murphy 12 to lead Chicago (13-19). The Sky remained one game behind New York for the fourth and final Eastern Conference playoff berth. The Sky have yet to make the playoffs since joining the league in 2006. Thompson hit a 13-foot jumper off an assist from Tanisha Wright to break the milestone with 9:02 left in the first half. The 15-year veteran entered the game seven shy of the mark. She had all her points in the first half. Seattle coach Brian Agler enjoyed the chance to see Thompson set the milestone.
“She’s just a true professional,” Agler said. “She comes to work every day and takes care of herself. She’s got one of the nicest touches on the basketball that I’ve ever been around. She knows how to score. She’s a good teammate and a proven winner.
“You watch her play and she makes winning basketball plays. She’ll go down as one of the all-time greats.”
Sue Bird, who had eight assists for Seattle after missing three games with a hip flexor, put some perspective on Thompson’s achievement.
“It’s very impressive and definitely speaks to her ability to score, her longevity and her consistency,” Bird said. “You can’t overlook those things. There’s going to be a lot of players that come and go in this league and only a few are going to have those qualities and she’s one of them.”
Seattle, which led by as many as 21 points in the first half, scored the first eight points of the third quarter to lead 54-28 and were up 60-32 midway through the period.
“We never quite recovered from the first swing that Seattle threw,” Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. “I think they shot 57 percent in the first half and we never quite recovered from that. I felt we had good looks, but they didn’t go down.”
Thompson scored 10 points and Smith had nine to help the Storm to a 46-28 halftime lead. The Storm shot 57 percent (16 of 28, including 6 of 10 from 3-point range, in the first half while Chicago shot 31.6 percent (12 of 38).
Storm center Lauren Jackson (strained hamstring) missed her third consecutive game. Jackson said after the game she will return on Friday against San Antonio. Seattle, fourth in the Western Conference, will open the playoffs the latter part of next week against Minnesota. Chicago center Syliva Fowles missed her fifth straight game with a lower leg injury.
Swin Cash had six points and seven rebounds in her first return to Seattle since being traded with Le’coe Willingham in the offseason to Chicago for the No. 2 draft pick, which the Storm used to select Shekinna Stricklen.