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Seattle’s Bird, Cash shine over Silver Stars

SEATTLE – Sue Bird scored 17 points and Swin Cash added 16 to help the Seattle Storm beat the San Antonio Silver Stars 78-64 Tuesday night.

Tanisha Wright added 12 points and seven assists for Seattle (11-8), which has won four of five and moved into a tie for third place in the Western Conference with Phoenix.

Ruth Riley scored 12 points, Becky Hammon 11 while Sophia Young and Jia Perkins had 10 apiece to lead second-place San Antonio (11-7), which lost its second consecutive game and dropped three games behind conference-leading Minnesota (14-4).

Seattle won its sixth straight home game to improve to 7-1, second best in the league.

The Silver Stars cut an 18-point first-half deficit to one point late in third quarter before the Storm pulled away with a 17-2 run.

Perkins hit a 3-pointer as the Silver Stars cut a 13-point deficit to 53-52 with 1:07 left in the third quarter.

But the Storm responded with a 7-0 run in the final 47 seconds of the quarter. Bird made a 3-pointer just prior to the buzzer to push the lead to 60-52. Seattle then outscored the Silver Stars 10-2 to start the final quarter.

Jayne Appel scored seven and Young five to ignite San Antonio’s third-quarter run. Bird made two 3-pointers to help hold off the Silver Stars.

Seattle shot 14 of 17 (82.4 percent) from the field in the first quarter to lead 31-19. Cash had a team-high eight points as she hit all four of her shots. Seven players scored for the Storm.

Reserve Le’coe Willingham scored seven during a 21-7 Storm run to close out the first quarter after San Antonio led 12-10.