Mercury Ousted From Playoffs By Seattle

Posted: Sept. 5, 2010


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PHOENIX (AP) -- Sue Bird made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds Sunday and the Seattle Storm advanced to the WNBA finals with a 91-88 victory over the defending champion Phoenix Mercury, closing the game with a 15-0 run.

Diana Taurasi, who finished with 28 points, missed a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer for Phoenix.

Swin Cash had 23 points and eight rebounds, helping Seattle erase an 88-76 deficit in the second game of the best-of-three conference finals. League MVP Lauren Jackson added 20 points and eight boards.

Phoenix missed shots on three consecutive possessions in the final 1:35, the last being Tameka Johnson's short layup against Bird. Bird grabbed the rebound and called timeout.

Johnson had 15 points and 12 assists for Phoenix, which had won two of the last three WNBA titles.

The Storm earned their seventh consecutive win and advanced to the finals for the first time since 2004. They will meet the winner of the Eastern Conference finals between Atlanta and New York, which was scheduled to start Sunday night.

Cash sparked Seattle's big rally with a three-point play with 3 minutes left and Jackson, who had been held relatively quiet, had five points in the final 2:33. Cash converted a tying layup with 36 seconds left after a Jackson offensive rebound.

Phoenix out together a 20-1 run in the second quarter, holding Seattle without a field goal for more than seven minutes. But the Storm scored the last seven points of the half to cut the lead to 48-40 at the break.

Taurasi, the league's leading scorer during the regular season, scored 10 points in an impressive stretch during the run after being held to nine points total in the first game of the series.

Jackson had 10 points and six rebounds in the first half, but also picked up her third foul with 2:09 left in the second quarter.

Phoenix increased its lead to 67-48 lead with 5:24 left in the third and Seattle responded again, finishing period with a 13-4 surge to trim the deficit to 71-61 entering the fourth.

The Storm improved to 7-0 against the Mercury this year.

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