Sue Bird Hurt but Seattle Stays Sharp

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Even losing starting guard Sue Bird, the Western Conference leader Seattle Storm stayed sharp to defeat the Tulsa Shock, 83-72, Monday in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Sue Bird left two minutes into the game after hurting her lower back. Bird is averaging 11.5 points and 5.7 assist per game this season.

Needing to fill up the shoes left by their starting point guard, Svetlana Abrosimova rose to the occasion when she erupted for a season-high 21 points, 19 of it coming in the second half of the game.

"We missed Sue today. When things were chaotic was when we needed her to help us calm down and play our game." Abrosimova said.

The 6-foot-2 forward, who is just averaging 6.1 points a game this season, nailed in three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help her team recover from a five-point deficit.

"We finally found a way to play aggressive and stay poised. Their defense is very unpredictable and physical and it took some time for us to adjust. In the fourth quarter, we made the extra pass and didn't turn the ball over." Abrosimova said.

WNBA’s leading Most Valuable Player candidate Lauren Jackson led the Storm in scoring with her 24 points. She also collected six rebounds for the Storm, which have won four straight games and improved their record to 13-2 to stay on top of the league.

"We had plenty of opportunities to give up, but no one did. All of these girls stepped up and we found a way to pull it out in the end." Jackson said.

Scholanda Robinson scored 16 points for the Shock, which has now lost its eight straight games.

"To be 10 points ahead of that team [Seattle] at halftime was remarkable for our girls, but we just couldn't hold it," Tulsa coach Nolan Richardson said.

"Anytime a team can get its head up and is one of the best-shooting teams in the league, it makes a difference. The goal got big for them in the fourth quarter and we were trying to prevent that."

Complete WNBA Results:

· Atlanta Dream 89 – Los Angeles Sparks 81

· Seattle Storm 83 – Tulsa Shock 72

· New York Liberty 77 – Connecticut Sun 68

· Washington Mystics 95 – Phoenix Mercury 85

· Indiana Fever 70 – Chicago Sky 64

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