Swin Cash, Sue Bird lead Storm past Mystics

WASHINGTON -- The Seattle Storm finally found their offense without imposing All-Star center Lauren Jackson. The Washington Mystics couldn't make up for the loss of leading scorer Crystal Langhorne.

Swin Cash scored 19 points and Sue Bird added 17 as the Storm won in Washington for the first time since 2006, topping the Mystics 73-63 on Sunday.

The Storm (5-3) have won two of three without Jackson, the reigning WNBA MVP who is out following left hip surgery. The defending champions have won three of four overall.

"We have a lot of players in here that can score, but for the most part we hang our hat on defense," said Bird, who had three steals. "Our problem this season has been kind of scoring on the other end.

"We were able to get out in transition, get some easy looks."

The Mystics (2-6) played without Langhorne (back pain), and scored a season-low 26 points in the first half. Washington shot 31.9 percent (22 for 69) overall.

Tanisha Wright also scored 17 points for the Storm, who took the lead for good late in the first quarter and were ahead 35-26 at halftime.

After the Mystics got within 43-40 midway through the third quarter, Bird drilled a 3-pointer and scored eight points during a 14-4 run over the final 4:48 of the period to make it 57-44. Cash scored consecutive baskets in that stretch, including a fastbreak layup after Bird created a turnover.

"I think the second and third quarter we helped ourselves," Storm coach Brian Agler said. "Played pretty good defensively gave us a little bit of a cushion going into halftime."

Washington made it 61-56 with a 3-point play by Matee Ajavon with 3:20 remaining, but didn't get closer against the Storm, who lost at Connecticut on Friday.

"We are a veteran team with a core group of players that were here last year when we won the championship," Cash said. "We understand what it takes to get it done."

Camille Little's basket to finish the first-quarter scoring put the Storm up 18-17, and Seattle finished the first half with a 7-0 run. The Mystics missed 14 of 15 shots and scored only nine points in the second quarter. They shot 25.8 percent (8 for 31) in the opening half.

Victoria Dunlap, the Mystics' first-round draft pick this year, replaced Langhorne in the starting lineup and led the team with 19 points. Ajavon scored 15 points and Nicky Anosike finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Mystics, who have lost five of six.

Washington has injury woes beyond Langhorne, who missed the first game of her four-year WNBA career. The Mystics, who have been playing without Alana Beard (foot), lost Monique Currie (knee) for the year during the offseason.

The depleted bench went 0 for 8 from the field, and the Mystics are last in the Eastern Conference one season after winning the regular-season title.

"I've never in my life have had to deal with so many injuries in such a short period of time," said a visibly frustrated Anosike. "It's hard, but what can we do? We can't sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. The other teams don't care."

Langhorne believes she was injured when she fell against Indiana on June 21, but she played through discomfort the following game against Tulsa. The All-Star forward was unclear whether she would be ready for the Mystics' game at Chicago on Tuesday.

Game notes
The home team had won the previous eight games in the series. ... Seattle G Katie Smith, who played last season for the Mystics, scored one point in her return to Washington.