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Full steam ahead for Jackson

Several weeks ago, Lauren Jackson and Australia  were putting forth one spirited performance after another at the London Games en route to the bronze medal.

To reach the podium after losing superstar Penny Taylor to a knee injury several months before the Olympics was a great achievement. It was a testament to the grit and determination that everyone has in the Opals set-up.

Jackson, despite having had to overcome serious injuries the past couple of years, went on to have another solid international summer which saw her pass Brazil great Janeth Arcain as the all-time leading scorer in women’s Olympic history.

Coming off the emotional high of London, Jackson is now in America playing for her long-time WNBA club Seattle Storm and showing signs that she has plenty in the tank as they attempt to win another title.

In 2010, Jackson was the MVP as Seattle won the championship.

On Thursday night, three-time WNBA MVP Jackson was awesome against Tulsa, pouring in a season-high 23 points in the Storm’s 101-74 victory.

Jackson had not hit the ground running immediately upon her return to the WNBA from the Olympics, but she looked to be at her best against Tulsa after some good workouts with her teammates the past several days.

“We did a lot of scrimmaging,” Jackson said.

“Just everybody getting used to playing with each other again. Some of the passes tonight were unbelievable.”

That was no overstatement.

The Storm’s 29 assists and 59.7% field goal shooting were the best in franchise history.

Their 14 three-pointers tied a franchise record.

Jackson was a perfect two of two from behind the arc.

She was, Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg admitted, the biggest problem for his team.

“They got LJ back in her groove,” he said.

“We just had no answer for her.”

If Jackson maintains the sort of form she showed on Thursday night, the Storm could be a factor in the play-offs.

As for Australia, cente Liz Cambage is taking this season off in the WNBA but fellow Opal Jenna O’Hea is having a positive impact for the Los Angeles Sparks.

With Taylor expected back in the national squad, and if Jackson is in top form, the Australians are sure to be in the reckoning for a podium finish when the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women is held in Turkey.

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