Storm lose on late steal, basket
PHOENIX — Diana Taurasi picked off an errant pass by Sue Bird and made a driving shot with 6.3 seconds left to lift the Phoenix Mercury past the Seattle Storm 81-79.
Swin Cash missed an 8-footer and Taurasi knocked the ball out with 0.1 seconds left to preserve the win, which snapped Phoenix’s nine-game losing streak to the Storm and completed the second-biggest comeback in franchise history.
The Mercury trailed by 18 in the first half, but Taurasi helped them chip away, and scored nine of her 24 points in the fourth quarter.
Bird had 23 points and eight assists for the Storm, which has lost four of five.
Phoenix trailed 36-18 with 4:22 left in the first half and 43-28 at halftime.
But the Mercury scored seven points in a 44-second span and then twice got Candice Dupree cutting to the basket for layups to tie the game at 67 with 5:29 remaining.
The teams traded baskets but Bird found Camille Little twice under the basket, the second time giving Seattle a 79-77 lead with 1:28 left.
Cash missed a layup with 44 seconds remaining and Taylor fed Dewanna Bonner for a layup to tie it at 30.
On the next possession, Bird intended to get the ball to Katie Smith but the pass went awry and Taurasi grabbed it and broke the other way for the winning basket.
Phoenix had lost nine straight to the Storm, including getting swept by Seattle in the 2010 Western Conference finals. The Mercury last beat the Storm on Sept. 10, 2009.
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