PHOENIX (AP) — After nearly 55 minutes, Sue Bird wasn't exactly sure what kind of shot her team would get until she made the winning 3-pointer.
Bird's 3 with 6.4 seconds left in the third overtime lifted the Seattle Storm to a 111-107 victory against the Phoenix Mercury on Wednesday.
"It was just a broken down play," Bird said. "Lauren (Jackson) got it, drove, and with a player like Lauren you have to give her attention, and she just kicked it (out). It was a simple drive and kick."
Penny Taylor missed a potential tying 3 on Phoenix's ensuing possession.
Jackson added late free throw in the closing seconds to give the Storm (17-2) their franchise-best eighth straight victory in the fifth triple-overtime game in WNBA history.
"It was really long and tiring," said Jackson, who led Seattle with 31 points on 10-for-11 shooting from the field and had 18 rebounds. "We are lucky that we came away with the win.
"I've been on teams that have lost, in situations like that. It sucks. You just stick it out and Sue hit a massive shot for us."
Diana Taurasi scored a season-high 44 points for the Mercury (7-12), finishing three points short of her WNBA record. She shot 16 for 33 from the field, but missed a 3 with 27 seconds left and the score tied at 107.
Tanisha Wright scored 20 points, Swin Cash had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Bird also scored 14 points.
"You just take what they give you," Wright said. "I think we did a good job of that. You know they really did some different things, they had some different lineups, they had zone, they did this and they did that. We just did a really good job of taking what they gave us."
Candice Dupree scored 18 points and 14 rebounds, DeWanna Bonner also scored 18 points and Penny Taylor had 16 for the Mercury.
"It's a team we're going to face in the playoffs," Taylor said. "We've shown them that we're not going to lay die down and die and we fought really hard. Hopefully we can get better before we play this team again."
Washington and Seattle played in the league's longest game, a four-overtime game, on July 3, 2001.
Both teams had chances to win in the waning seconds of regulation and the first two extra periods.
Taurasi was short on a shot and Wright found Bird for an uncontested layup to give the Storm a 100-97 lead with 25 seconds left in the second overtime.
Taurasi's 3-point shot with 15 seconds left rimmed out. However, after a Seattle turnover she was fouled way out from the basket by Cash with 7.9 seconds left and made the subsequent three free throws.
"Diana is extremely cagey," Seattle coach Brian Agler said. "She knows what's going on. You can't much past her. ... If we had to do it over again we wouldn't have played it that way. But we did and we had to deal with the consequences. Fortunately, we won."
In the first overtime, Cash hit a 3-pointer and made a free throw to give Seattle an 86-85 lead with 2 minutes left. But, after missing her first seven shots, Tangela Smith hit a 3-pointer and Bonner saved the ball from going out of bounds to Dupree for a layup that gave Phoenix a 90-86 lead with 1:15 remaining.
Wright made a layup and after Bonner missed a leaner, Lauren Jackson made two free throws with 2.6 seconds left to tie it after getting fouled under the basket by Smith.
The Storm built a 72-63 lead with 5:55 remaining in regulation, but Taurasi scored seven points during a closing 15-6 run, capped by Dupree's leaner in the lane with 2.4 seconds left in regulation that forced overtime. Jackson's 25-footer at the buzzer was short.
"It was a regular season game, money time comes later," Mercury coach Corey Gaines said. "No let down, sometimes you lose games, sometimes it's a good loss. I take it as a good loss."
Taurasi scored 18 first-half points on 7-of-11 shooting to lead Phoenix to a 43-41 advantage at the break.