Mercury, Storm prepare for Game 1 of semifinals

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By Natalie Rivers By Natalie Rivers

SEATTLE (AP) -- Sue Bird isn't afraid of leaking any strategic secrets that the Seattle Storm might employ when they open defense of their WNBA title on Thursday night against the Phoenix Mercury.

As the All-Star point guard sees it, there are simply no secrets left to leak in a rivalry that has become as fierce as any in the league.

The Storm and Mercury open their best-of-three Western Conference semifinal series in Seattle.

Seattle has won 10 of the past 11 games against the Mercury. That includes a two-game sweep of last year's conference finals and an overall run of nine straight victories that ended Aug. 16 when
the Mercury prevailed in Phoenix.