Camille Little had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Sue Bird scored 12 points, and the short-handed Seattle Storm rallied to win their sixth straight, 65-58 over the New York Liberty on Tuesday night.
Tanisha Wright scored 11 points and Swin Cash had nine of her 10 points in the second half for Seattle (19-11), which played its second straight without Lauren Jackson. The star forward is sidelined indefinitely due to a stress fracture in her back.
The Storm, who have already clinched their sixth straight playoff berth, moved one game behind first-place Phoenix in the Western Conference and stretched their lead on third-place Los Angeles to 3 1/2 games.
Cathrine Kraayeveld had 14 points and eight rebounds, and rookie center Kia Vaughn scored 11 points for the Liberty (12-18). New York dropped 2 1/2 games behind Detroit and Washington for the last two playoff spots in the East.
Seattle scored seven consecutive points bridging the third and fourth quarters, started and ended by jumpers from Bird, to take a 45-43 lead with 8:14 left. It was the Storm's first lead since midway through the second quarter.
The teams stayed close, exchanging leads several times, until Cash and Bird hit jumpers 33 seconds apart to give Seattle a 59-55 lead with 1:16 to go.
Little's layup with about 34 seconds left stretched the Storm's advantage to six, and Wright made two free throws 10 seconds later to seal the win.
Kraayeveld hit two 3-pointers in a 1:20 span to break a 27-all tie and give the Liberty a six-point lead with 5:50 left in the third quarter.
Cash, who had one point at halftime, scored seven consecutive Seattle points during one stretch of the third quarter, and her three-point play pulled the Storm within three twice in the final 2 minutes of the period.
The Liberty led 25-24 at halftime as neither team shot particularly well in the first 20 minutes. New York was 10 for 31 (32 percent) from the field, while Seattle made 7 of 23 (30 percent). The Storm, who tied a season low for first-half scoring, had just eight points on 2-for-9 shooting in the second quarter.