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Mercury Can't Hold On To 4th Quarter Lead, Seattle Storm Advance To WNBA Finals

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Sue Bird's three-pointer with 2.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter lifted the Seattle Storm into the WNBA Finals with a 91-88 win over defending champion Phoenix Mercury in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.

Swin Cash finished with a team-best 23 points and 2010 WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson went for 20 points and eight rebounds for the Storm, who outscored the Mercury 30-17 in the fourth quarter to advance to the Finals where they will face either Atlanta or New York. Bird ended with 16 points and eight assists.

Diana Taurasi led all scorers with 28 points for Phoenix, but missed a potential game-tying three-pointer as time expired. Candice Dupree chipped in with 17 points in defeat.

Trailing 88-76 with 3:21 remaining, Cash's three-point play ignited a 15-0 run. A Jackson jumper and three-point play sandwiched around a pair of free throws from Camille Little got Seattle to within two, 88-86, with 1:15 left.

Taurasi's jumper on the Mercury's next possession was off the mark and Cash evened it with a layup on a nice feed from Bird with 36.2 seconds on the clock. After a Phoenix timeout, Temeka Johnson's short jumper spun out and the Storm called a timeout do draw up a final play.

With the shot clock winding down, Bird took the pass from Tanisha Wright well beyond the three-point arc and drilled it for a 91-88 game. Following a 20- second timeout by Phoenix, Taurasi's contested three wouldn't fall, allowing Seattle to prevail.

The Mercury held a 24-22 lead after the opening 12 minutes and they built their advantage to 48-40 at the half. Tangela Smith knocked down a pair of free throws in the final seconds of the third quarter to put Phoenix up by double digits, 71-61, heading into the fourth.