Sue Bird Top 10: Shots

Kevin Pelton, | Aug. 9, 2011

All week long, will count down Sue Bird Top 10s, from her best photos to her best games, as part of our look back at her decade in Seattle. The celebration culminates with Saturday's game against the Atlanta Dream (7:00 p.m., )Arrive early to get your limited-edition Sue Bird Decade Bobblehead while supplies last

Today, it's the best shots of Bird's career, a list that was added to just last week.

Aaron Last/Storm Photos

July 22, 2009 - Key threes in third OT
Cheating a little bit here, since this wasn't so much about a single shot as a series of them. After the Storm and the L.A. Sparks battled to a draw for 50 minutes, Bird knocked down a trio of three-pointers in the third overtime, allowing the Storm to pull away for a 98-87 win. Bird made seven triples in the game, a new franchise record.

Aaron Last/Storm Photos

Aug. 29, 2009 - Tying three vs. Atlanta
The 2009 season saw the Storm in general and Bird in particular make a variety of clutch baskets to win games that were seemingly lost. In this late-season thriller against the team the Storm would face in the WNBA Finals a year later, Bird extended the game by making a three-pointer with 19.3 seconds left in regulation. The Storm would go on to win in two OTs.

Aaron Last/Storm Photos

Sept. 18, 2009 - Setting up "The Play"
This can't rank any higher because it did not win or even tie a game, but it remains the case that the Storm would not have completed the most miraculous comeback in franchise history without Bird's shot. Her three-pointer with 10.7 seconds left in Game 2 of the Storm's opening-round series with Los Angeles cut the deficit to one point. When Camille Little and Tanisha Wright combined to steal the subsequent inbounds pass and set up Little for a breakaway layup, the Storm won a game it trailed by four points in the closing seconds.

Aaron Last/Storm Photos

Aug. 1, 2009 - Tying three vs. San Antonio
Completing the run of big Bird threes during the 2009 season, this ranks as her best shot that was not a game-winner. Precious little time remained in regulation when the Storm, down three, found Bird in the corner. She double-pumped on her way up but still managed to muscle in the triple and force overtime, where the Storm would eventually win.

Aaron Last/Storm Photos

June 1, 2008 - Cherry picking for the win
Bird's heads-up play produced her easiest game-winning shot against the Houston Comets early in the 2008 season. Houston had the ball up one, but Yolanda Griffith and Wright teamed up for a blocked shot and Lauren Jackson secured the rebound. Sensing an opportunity, Bird leaked out and Jackson threw over the top for an uncontested layup that gave the Storm the winning margin with 6.4 seconds left to play.

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

July 22, 2007 - Big shot in the Big Apple
Bird always loves to play well at Madison Square Garden, not far from where she grew up in Syosset, NY. In her second game back from knee surgery, Bird was having a rough night. She missed her first six shot attempts and was scoreless when she got the ball beyond the arc with time winding down. Bird did not hesitate, making the three with 10.6 seconds left to give the Storm a 77-75 win.

Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE/Getty Images

July 17, 2004 - No-look layup
Bird's game-winning shot in overtime against the Washington Mystics in 2004 may never be repeated. Jackson started the play off by stonewalling Chamique Holdsclaw and blocking her shot, leading to a transition opportunity at the other end. With time running out, Bird actually turned her back to the basket, took the contact from Alana Beard and banked in a shot with 2.6 seconds left to break a tie.

Neil Enns/Storm Photos

Aug. 5, 2011 - Bird beats the Sun
The latest entry to this list was also the latest Bird game-winner in her Storm career. Just 3.1 seconds remained when Tina Charles gave the Connecticut Sun the lead with a putback last Friday. The Storm put the ball in Bird's hands, and she dribbled free at the top of the key before knocking down the winning three-pointer. Less than half a second was left after Bird's game-winner, which set off an enormous celebration at KeyArena.

Aaron Last/Storm Photos

Sept. 12, 2010 - Finals winner
On the WNBA's biggest stage, Bird delivered a big shot in Game 1 of last year's WNBA Finals. The previous play, Bird missed a shot that would have given the Storm the lead. With time running down, the Storm went back to Bird, who got a monstrous moving screen from Jackson and got a good look at a jumper just inside the three-point line. Bird knocked it down with 2.6 seconds left, starting the Storm on the path to a sweep and the second championship in franchise history.

Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images

Sept. 5, 2010 - Bird Sends the Storm to the Finals
Who else but Bird would cap the greatest comeback in franchise history? Facing the Mercury in Phoenix with a chance to sweep the series and advance to the WNBA Finals, the Storm tied the game with a 12-0 run. Bird blocked Temeka Johnson's shot to give the Storm possession with a chance to win. Head Coach Brian Agler called for a pick-and-roll run by Tanisha Wright with Bird coming off a Jackson screen. She found just enough room to get off a three-pointer that found the bottom of the net with 2.8 seconds left. The Storm would celebrate winning the conference on the home court of a West rival - all thanks to what we consider the biggest shot of Bird's career.

Agree? Disagree? Share your favorite Bird shots in the comments.

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