Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 11/16/14

BEIJING - AUGUST 11: Sue Bird #6 of the United States looks on prior to playing against China in a women's basketball preliminary game on Day 3 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the Wukesong Indoor Stadium on August 11, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
With their next seven games at home and their three-time MVP set to return soon, the Seattle Storm aren't in such a bad position in the Western Conference. The same cannot be said of the injury-plagued Phoenix Mercury. Back from the WNBA's Olympic break, Seattle could reach .500 on Thursday night when the Mercury try to avoid a franchise high-tying seventh consecutive loss. The Storm (9-10) and Mercury (4-15) met before the break July 13, and Seattle won 83-64 on the road to take a five-game lead over Phoenix for the final playoff spot in the West. Seattle has won eight of 11 and has no road games until Sept. 8 against league-worst Tulsa. That could be particularly beneficial to point guard Sue Bird, who is back from London after winning her third gold medal. She had 11 points and three assists as the U.S. capped off the tournament with an 86-50 victory over France on Saturday. "Personally, I'm very glad to be home - really," Bird told the Storm's official website. "If we had t...
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