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Storm squeak by in opener of WNBA finals

Mon., Sept. 13, 2010

Bird’s jumper tops Dream in Game 1

SEATTLE – Different game. Different venue. Same old Sue Bird.

Same result for the Seattle Storm, too.

Bird made a tiebreaking jumper from the foul line with 2.6 seconds left and the Storm beat the Atlanta Dream 79-77 in Game 1 of the WNBA finals on Sunday.

Angel McCoug- htry had a last-second try for the Dream, but her long 3-pointer from the left side bounced off the far side of the rim at the buzzer.

The best-of-5 series resumes Tuesday night in Seattle.

Bird also hit a key shot in the Western Conference finals, making a 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds left to give the Storm a 91-88 victory in the clinching game Sept. 5 at Phoenix.

“I was able to get a real good look, and it was a pull-up, which is what I like, and swish,” Bird said Sunday. “Those situations are fun – especially when they go in.”

WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson had 26 points and eight rebounds for Seattle. Bird finished with 14 points, and Camille Little had 18 points and 11 rebounds as the Storm remained unbeaten in 20 home games this season.

McCoughtry and Iziane Castro Marques had 19 points apiece for Atlanta.

McCoughtry wound up with three stitches in her forehead after a hard collision with Seattle’s Jana Vesela with 8:59 to play. While she returned to the game, McCoughtry was ill afterward and unavailable for interviews. Dream trainer Kim Moseley said McCoughtry did not have a concussion and, barring any headaches, was expected to participate in practice today.

Atlanta trailed by nine in the fourth before tying it at 77 on Castro Marques’ three-point play with a minute left. After each team traded missed chances, the stage was set for Bird’s last-second shot.

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