UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Jamie Carey hit a jumper with 2 minutes left and a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to lift the Connecticut Sun to an 80-76 victory over the Seattle Storm in a battle of conference leaders on Sunday.
The Sun (19-10) got their sixth straight win to take a 1 1/2-game lead over Detroit in the Eastern Conference. They also tied San Antonio for the best record in the league. Asjha Jones led Connecticut with 20 points, Amber Holt had 15, and Tamika Whitmore and Carey added 12 apiece.
Seattle (18-10) fell a half-game behind San Antonio for the lead in the Western Conference. Sue Bird led the Storm with 24 points. Swin Cash had 16 and Yolanda Griffith added 12.
Carey played a season-high 32 minutes in place of starting point guard Lindsay Whalen, who missed the game with a sprained ankle.
"It's hard to play in a game like this, especially when you look up at the scoreboard and see that Sue Bird has 20-plus points," Carey said. "She made the [U.S. Olympic] team for a reason. I did the best I could on her, but she definitely beat me two, three, four times."
Whitmore made a free throw with 2:38 left to give Connecticut a 76-72 lead. Griffith responded with two free throws to cut the lead to two before Carey made an 8-foot jumper to give the Sun a 78-74 lead.
Bird made a steal with 31 seconds remaining to get the Storm within two. Seattle had a chance to tie late, but committed a turnover with 2.7 seconds left.
"I thought we played a good game," Storm coach Brian Agler said. "I thought we competed hard. We came in and had to rebound. We did that. We had to be efficient. We were. But keep in mind we played against an excellent basketball team."
Connecticut coach Mike Thibault was honored before the game for his role as an assistant coach with the women's U.S. Olympic team. The Sun also recognized Bird, Connecticut's Erin Phillips, who played for Australia, and the Sun's Svetlana Abrosimova, who represented Russia.
Seattle played without forward Lauren Jackson, the Australian Olympian who had surgery to her right ankle last week.
Connecticut scored six straight points and had a 36-32 lead late in the first half before Cash's 3-pointer at the horn cut it to 36-35 at halftime. It was her first 3 of the season.