The return of Sue Bird had a calming influence on the Storm and made for an easy conclusion to a franchise record-tying, four-game losing streak Tuesday night with a wire-to-wire, 75-60 triumph over the Chicago Sky at KeyArena.
Bird, who sat out three games resting a sore hip-flexor muscle, started and played 19 minutes that included eight assists. Her floor leadership helped cut Seattle turnovers to 16, after four games of at least 20.
Lauren Jackson missed her third consecutive game with a sore hamstring, but she may available by Friday, when Seattle (14-18) hosts San Antonio in the final home game of the regular season.
Post player Ann Wauters had one of her best games, with team highs of 16 points and eight rebounds. Katie Smith had 13 points. The 10 points by Tina Thompson, the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, made her the first player to surpass 7,000 points (7,003). The 15-year veteran hit a short jumper with 9:03 left in the first half to reach the milestone.
Epiphanny Prince had 21 points and Shay Murphy 12 to lead Chicago (13-19). Former Gonzaga star Courtney Vandersloot had six points, The Sky remained one game behind New York for the fourth and final Eastern Conference playoff berth.