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Bird’s late 3-pointer lifts Storm to win

SEATTLE — Sue Bird hit a 3-pointer on a 22-foot jumper with 0.4 seconds left to give the Seattle Storm a 81-79 win over the Connecticut Sun on Friday night.

Bird, who finished with 20 points, received an inbound pass from Katie Smith and hit the 3 from the top of the arc as defending champion Seattle (12-8) moved into sole possession of second place in the Western Conference.

Tanisha Wright added 18 points, Swin Cash had 14 and Camille Little 13 for the Storm, who won three in a row for the first time this season.

Tina Charles hit a 7-footer on a putback with 3.1 seconds left to put the Sun up 79-78 before Seattle called timeout to set up the winning shot.

Renee Montgomery scored 19 points, Charles had 18 and Asjha Jones 12 to lead Connecticut (12-7), which had won six of seven.

Seattle shot 12 of 19 on 3-pointers. Bird hit 4 of 7 from long range and Cash made 3 of 6.

Smith hit a 3 and Cash scored twice inside as Seattle used a 10-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter to go ahead 73-59 after the Sun had taken a one-point lead late in the third.

Charles scored six points during a 16-2 run in the third quarter as the Sun rallied from 13 down to take their first lead of the game 56-55 on Jones’ jumper.

Seattle responded with two free throws by Little and back-to-back 3s by Cash to lead 63-57 heading to the fourth.

Montgomery scored eight to start Connecticut’s 15-4 run to close out the first half that cut an 18-point deficit to 47-40.

Wright scored nine to help the Storm build a 43-25 lead midway through the second quarter.

Seattle shot 8 of 12 on 3s in the first half. Bird made three 3s, including two in the first quarter when she had 10 points to help give the Storm a 24-14 lead.

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