WASHINGTON (AP) - Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird scored 17 points apiece and the Seattle Storm beat the Washington Mystics 81-76 on Friday night in a critical showdown between teams battling for the final playoff spot.
The Storm (14-17) won their third straight on the road to move into a tie for seventh place with Phoenix, 1 /2 games in front of the Mystics (12-18) in the chase for the final playoff spot.
Ramu Tokashiki, who had 13 points, scored Seattle's first seven points of the fourth quarter to close a 16-1 run that put the Storm up 70-61. The Mystics scored the next eight, the first six by Natasha Cloud, to make it a one-point game.
Jewell Loyd's step-back 20-footer with 2:05 left made it 79-76 for the Storm and both teams missed several chances before Loyd's two free throws with less than a second remaining iced it.
Stewart had 10 rebounds, and the Storm had a 36-26 advantage on the boards. Bird had nine assists and seven rebounds.
Emma Messeman led Washington, which scored 118 points in a win over Chicago on Wednesday night, with 15 points.
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