Sue Bird’s fourth-quarter heroics help Storm return to WNBA Finals

To reach the WNBA Finals and finally hand Diana Taurasi’s Phoenix Mercury a loss in a deciding game, all the Seattle Storm needed was a huge game from the current MVP and a Taurasi-esque performance from one of her closest friends.

Wins over Dallas and Connecticut in the elimination rounds pushed the Mercury’s record to 13-0 in winner-take-all games with Taurasi. When Phoenix controlled the first half Tuesday, leading by as many as 11 points, the visiting Mercury looked well on their way to making that nike nfl jerseys paypal

With MVP Breanna Stewart leading the charge, the Storm rallied to tie the score late in the third quarter. Then Seattle turned things over to Sue Bird, who proved that she, too, can make big shots in big situations, despite wearing a face mask to protect a broken nose suffered on Sunday. Bird’s first 3-pointer of the fourth quarter came with 5:48 left and the Storm down four. A minute later, Bird drilled a step-back jumper just inside the arc, followed by another 3 on a kickout after an offensive rebound.11

When Bird nailed a third triple two possessions later — moments after having the face mask knocked off her face in a scramble for the ball that left her atypically furious at referees who called no foul and awarded a jump ball — she’d racked up 11 points in a stretch of fewer than three minutes that saw Seattle outscore Phoenix 15-3 to go from down four to up eight with 2:51 to play. Bird — who said the scramble caused the mask to “hit down on to my nose, and it started bleeding” — later added a fourth 3 in the quarter as insurance in the final cheap nfl jerseys

“I was just open,” Bird said after the game. “It was mostly off them having to focus on Stewie so much because she was being so aggressive. Other players kind of getting in there, creating these openings. A lot of those were kickouts to me, and I was able to knock them in.”