BY SPNW Staff 09:07PM 08/16/2012

Bird sick, Storm struggles a bit to top Mercury

Playing without Lauren Jackson and Ann Wauters and getting only 10 minutes from flu-ridden Olympian Sue Bird, the Seattle Storm staggered out of the second-half restart to the WNBA season. Fortunately, the Phoenix Mercury was even more messed up.

The Storm patched together enough defense to work up a 72-58 triumph over the Mercury Thursday night, pulling even for the first time this season at 10-10, after a 1-7 seasonal start.

Camille Little led the Storm, which led only 34-29 at the half, with 17 points, hitting seven of 11 shots. Tanisha Wright 10 points and season highs of eight assists and five steals.  Samantha Prahalis led Phoenix, is 5-15 and fifth in the West, with 15 points. Dewanna Bonner, second-leading scorer in the WNBA, had seven points, missing 15 of 18 field goal attempts.

Bird, who returned Tuesday from the London Olympics, obviously wasn’t ready to resume WNBA play, scoring two points in 10 minutes. She was replaced to start the second half by Svetlana Abrasimova.

Jackson returned to Australia from London and won’t be back to Seattle until sometime next week. Wauters is still recovering from a knee injury.

The Mercury had three players down with injuries, and star Diana Taurasi, who won gold with Bird in London, hasn’t returned to the team. She missed all but two games in the first half of the season with a strained hip flexor.

The Storm hosts the Los Angeles Sparks at 7 p.m. Saturday, the second of seven consecutive games at KeyArena.


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