Sue Bird had 10 points and 14 assists a day after having surgery on her broken nose, and the Storm advanced to the WNBA Finals with an 82-62 win over the Sacramento Monarchs in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals last night in Seattle.
Bird broke her nose in the Storm's first-round series against Minnesota. She underwent closed reduction surgery Monday morning.
Her 14 assists were a playoff record, breaking the mark of 12, which was held by three players.
Lauren Jackson added 27 points for Seattle, which won Games 2 and 3 on its home court after dropping the opener in Sacramento.
Seattle will travel to face Eastern Conference champion Connecticut in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals on Friday night. The Storm will host Game 2 and -- if necessary -- Game 3.
The Storm led 44-43 in the second half before scoring 18 straight points. Seattle missed only two shots and hit four three-pointers during the run.
Sacramento went nearly eight minutes without a basket, finally ending the run on a jumper by Tangela Smith with 6 minutes 51 seconds left.
Yolanda Griffith led the Monarchs with 13 points, but Sacramento lost Game 3 of the conference finals for the third time. The Monarchs lost to Los Angeles in 2001 and 2003.
Seattle became the first Western Conference team other than Houston or Los Angeles to reach the WNBA Finals.
Bird said she had no ill-effects from the 15-minute procedure to straighten the break -- and it showed on the court. She played 33 minutes and was 4 for 7 from the field.
Bird had seven assists in the first half for Seattle, which shot 54 percent for the game.
-- From News Services