Seattle 64, Minnesota 54
Storm Sweep Series
SEATTLE, Sept. 27 (Ticker) -- With their floor leader sidelined early in the game, the Seattle Storm rallied to win their first playoff series.
The win gave Seattle a 2-0 series win, advancing the team to the Western Conference Finals where it will meet the winner of the Sacramento-Los Angeles series either Friday or Sunday.
"Regardless of this (broken nose), winning tonight was huge," Bird said. "The fact that we were able to win it in two shows a lot of character."
Bird, who finished second in the league with a 5.4 assists per game during the regular season, collided with Teresa Edwards in the lane and fell hard to the floor just 2:23 into the contest.
"I ran into her and it felt horrible," Bird said. "I knew (it was broken).
"It's not that bad. I got to fix this up before (the next) game."
Although Tully Bevilaqua did a fine job replacing Bird -- scoring nine points and dishing out four assists -- the game was in question until the Storm's closing run.
After Amber Jacobs hit a 3-pointer with 9:47 remaining to put the Lynx ahead 48-45, Minnesota went the next 7:13 without a basket.
Bevilaqua hit a jumper to pull Seattle within a point and Sheri Sam provided a layup three minutes later to give the Storm the lead for good, 49-48.
Seattle, which had not won a playoff game in its four-year history prior to sweeping Minnesota, ran its run to 14-1, capped by Janell Burse's layup with 2:51 left that made it 59-49.
"The second half was awesome," Bird said. "I'm so proud of them. It was a great game."
Alicia Thompson added 10 points off the bench for the Storm, who recorded 12 steals.
Svetlana Abrosimova scored 14 points and Nicole Ohlde chipped in 11 as the Lynx fell for the seventh time in their last nine games.
After missing the postseason in its first four seasons, Minnesota has been knocked out in the first round the last two years.