Jackson and Wright lead Storm over Monarchs; Storm 71, Monarchs 61.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Lauren Jackson scored 23 points and Tanisha Wright added 21 to help the Seattle Storm beat the Sacramento Monarchs 71-61 on Saturday in the season opener.
Jackson scored seven points in the final four minutes as Seattle closed the game on a 13-2 run.
Laura Harper had 11 points and six rebounds for the Monarchs, who shot 33 percent. Ticha Penicheiro added 11 points.
Sue Bird added seven points and eight assists for Seattle .
Trailing by seven points early in the fourth period, the Monarchs used their swarming defense to ignite its offense, which led to eight straight points and put Sacramento ahead by one point at the 5:03 mark.
But Jackson's 3-pointer helped built the lead back to 64-59 with just over two minutes to play and a three-point play by Wright gave the Storm ahead 69-61 with 50 seconds remaining.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)