Mercury end season with loss to Storm

BY foxsports • September 24, 2012

PHOENIX (AP) -- Sue Bird had 13 points, five
rebounds and four assists to help the Seattle Storm beat the Phoenix
Mercury 71-57 on Sunday in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Seeded fourth in the West, Seattle
(16-18) played its regulars most of the game in advance of its playoff
series with defending champion Minnesota that begins Friday. The Storm
have reached the postseason a WNBA-record nine consecutive seasons.

With their seventh straight loss, the
last-place Mercury (7-27) recorded their worst season in franchise
history; their previous worst was an 8-26 finish in 2003. They missed the playoffs for
the first time since 2008 and had the second-worst record in the league.

DeWanna Bonner had 13 points to lead Phoenix.

Camille Little had 14 points and eight
rebounds and Shekinna Sticklen added 10 points for the Storm, who
finished the regular season with three straight victories.

Candice Dupree, in just her third game after knee surgery, had 10 points and three rebounds in 21 minutes.

Krystal Thomas, who was cut by both
Seattle and Phoenix by signed by the Mercury just five days into the
regular season, had a career-best 18 rebounds, her franchise-record
fifth straight game of 10 or more rebounds.

The Mercury, with just Olympian Diana
Taurasi out, took advantage of early Storm turnovers, taking a 16-7
advantage. However, Seattle ran off 16 straight points in the second
quarter and led 32-28 at the break.

The Storm also started the second half
on an 11-4 run to open up a 43-32 lead with 6:09 left. Seattle led 53-44
going into the final period.

Taurasi missed 24 games this season, most of them with a hip flexor.