Bird returns, scoring a season-high 31 as Storm win

Maybe the day of rest helped Sue Bird.

The point guard returned from missing Saturday’s loss to the Los Angeles Sparks with a 31-point performance on Sunday as the Seattle Storm defeated the Phoenix Mercury 83-69 at KeyArena on Sunday.

It was one of the finest performances of Bird’s stories career, shooting 10-for-11 from the field, 5-for-6 from 3-point range and 6-for-7 from the foul line. She tied the Storm record for most accurate shooting performance in a game with Kamila Vodichkova and was the second time in her WNBA career that she has surpassed 30 points in a game. She set her career-high of 33 against Portland in August of 2002.

“She was calling a lot of her own number which is sort of unusual for her,” Storm head coach Brian Agler said. “She understood the importance of this game and she looked like she was fresh compared to everyone else after a back-to-back. It obviously paid off having her sit out yesterday. It didn’t help us last night at all, but it paid off today.

With the win, the Storm improved to 8-9 on the season and with wins over Atlanta on Wednesday and Phoenix on Friday they can still go into the Olympic break with an above .500 record.

Bird helped the Storm jump out to a 12-0 lead, scoring 10 points during the run.

“Sometimes you just have nights like this where things seem to go your way and I just tried to ride it out,” Bird said.

Center Ann Wauters missed her second consecutive game with injury.

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