Bird's season-best 24 help Storm snap Monarchs' seven-game win streak

SEATTLE (AP) -- Sue Bird scored a season-high 24 points and the Seattle Storm fended off a Sacramento comeback to end the Monarchs' seven-game winning streak Sunday night with a 77-71 victory.

Swin Cash added 13 points for Seattle and Tanish Wright had 12 in the last WNBA game before a monthlong break for the Olympic Games in Beijing.

"It really doesn't matter how we get it, we got it," said Bird, who heads to California for the U.S. Olympic team's final preparations. "It was a tale of two quarters. The third quarter we were hitting, and the fourth quarter we couldn't hit, we had turnovers -- but luckily, we had that third quarter."

Scholanda Robinson scored 13 points for the Monarchs, who matched a franchise record with their winning streak. Nicole Powell had 12 points, including seven in the fourth-quarter rally before she fouled out with 1:21 to go.

The Storm have the WNBA's best home record at 13-1.

Seattle used two extended spurts -- 13-0 bridging the second and third quarters and 12-1 later in the third period -- to take a 67-47 lead. Sacramento's scoreless spell lasted 4:47 as the Monarchs fell from one point down to 14.

They cut the margin to 55-46 before Seattle put together the 12-3 run, which Katie Gearlds started with back-to-back 3-pointers.

"You can see why they won seven in a row -- they just don't give in," Seattle coach Brian Agler said. "I didn't really envision what happened actually happening, but it didn't shock me because they're real persistent."

Sacramento's defense forced the Storm to miss nine of their first 10 shots in the fourth quarter and the Monarchs got as close as 69-66 on a pair of free throws by Crystal Kelly with 2:05 left.

"That's what we can do when we decide to start playing, when we're clicking on all cylinders on defense," Robinson said. "Our defense is what pushes this team, what's always going to determine how successful we are. When we decided to start locking down on defense, that's what happened. We didn't do that in the third quarter."

The Monarchs' last loss was 79-64 at home to Seattle on July 8.

The Storm went on a 10-2 run to take a 27-22 lead early in the second. They eventually built that lead to 37-28 on a layup by Wright with 4:05 left before halftime.

The Monarchs then went on an 11-3 run to trail by just one before Gearlds drained a 3-pointer just before the horn to give the Storm a 43-39 lead at intermission.