Seattle Storm Vs. San Antonio Silver Stars On ESPN3: A Game With Big Playoff Implications

PHOENIX - JULY 14: Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm smiles in reaction to a foul call during the WNBA game against the Phoenix Mercury at US Airways Center on July 14 2010 in Phoenix Arizona. The Storm defeated the Mercury 111-107 in triple overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Seattle Storm and San Antonio Silver Stars meet for the fourth time in their regular season series for their final game in KeyArena. With playoff seeding at stake, it's a big game for both teams. For more on the Storm's season, visit our Storm section. For more on the Liberty and the WNBA in general, visit SB Nation's women's basketball site Swish Appeal.

The San Antonio Silver Stars' first two trips to KeyArena haven't been particularly enjoyable summer visits to Seattle.

Their 18 point loss to the Seattle Storm just before the All-Star break and had to stage a comeback just to lose by 14 in their second visit.

And the stakes are much higher this time with the third place Storm and fourth place Silver Stars each battling for playoff position as the fifth place Los Angeles Sparks have an opportunity to challenge both of them with a much weaker schedule.

Yet things only stand to get tougher in the Silver Stars' third and final regular season visit to the Emerald City tonight (7 p.m., ESPN3): the Storm have star center Lauren Jackson back in the lineup for the first time in this season series.

In her first game back in action against the New York Liberty on Saturday, Jackson recorded 20 points and seven rebounds in just 22 minutes of play to help the Storm escape KeyArena with a 63-62 win. It's likely that the Storm will still have to go through an adjustment process as she gets closer to being in game shape and her minutes increase, but at the very least, the early returns showed that having Jackson's presence on the interior gives them a much more balanced offense.

Meanwhile, the Silver Stars are still without All-Star rookie forward Danielle Adams and being carried by All-Star guard Becky Hammon, who is among the best scoring point guards in the league, with the eighth highest scoring average (16.6 points per game) and second best assist average (5.6 per game). Hammon is complemented on the interior by forward Sophia Young, who averages 14 points per game with athleticism that makes her a difficult player to guard.

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