Rookies shine during WNBA’s opening weekend

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The WNBA also welcomed back Laimbeer, who hadn’t coached in the league since 2009. His New York Liberty dropped their opener to Donovan and the Connecticut Sun on Saturday night. Donovan spent the last three seasons coaching at Seton Hall before returning to the WNBA this season.

Laimbeer wasn’t too concerned, figuring it would take a few games or so for his new group to come together.

Indiana picked up right where it left off with a rout of San Antonio in its opener. Tamika Catchings scored 19 points and the Fever coasted to the victory over an injury-depleted Silver Stars team. Becky Hammon is expected to miss a month after breaking her right middle finger. She sat on the bench with a cast covering her hand and extending down to her wrist.

Los Angeles routed Seattle in its opener, beating the Storm 102-69. The Sparks shot 62 percent from the field _ including shooting 75 percent from behind the 3-point line in the blowout.

“We’re a very unselfish team,” said Sparks guard Kristi Toliver. “I think that’s the main thing, we have threats at all five positions. You can’t just focus on one or two people when everybody is a threat to score the basketball.”

Seattle was missing stars Sue Bird (knee) and Lauren Jackson (hamstring), who will both be sidelined for the entire season. Bird did make a TV appearance as an in-studio analyst on Monday for ESPN.

In all, 11 of the 12 teams played over the past three days. Only Minnesota, which lost in the finals to Indiana last year, didn’t get its season started yet. The Lynx open Saturday against Connecticut.

The league can only hope that the second weekend continues the success of the first.

___

Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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