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LI’s Sue Bird breaks WNBA career assists record

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird drives the ball

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird drives the ball against the New York Liberty in a WNBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, June 11, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

WASHINGTON — Long Island’s Sue Bird broke the WNBA’s all-time assists record Friday night, passing Ticha Penicheiro with her 2,600th career assist.

Bird, a Syosset native, moved ahead of Penicheiro in the first quarter on a pass to Carolyn Swords who was cutting through the lane for the basket. It was the Seattle Storm guard’s third assist of the game. After she broke the mark, the game was stopped and Bird was given the ball and received a nice ovation from the Mystics fans.

She accomplished the feat in 477 career games. Bird is averaging 6.4 assists per game this season, third-best in the league behind Courtney Vandersloot and Layshia Clarendon.

Bird has played her entire 16-year career with the Storm after getting drafted by the team in 2002 with the No. 1 pick. Her first assist came on May 30, 2002, when she dished to Adia Barnes for a 3-pointer.

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