Thursday, 15 November, 2018

SEA 98, WASH 82: Stewart, Storm surge past Mystics for WNBA title

Stewart Storm surge past Mystics for third WNBA title SEA 98, WASH 82: Stewart, Storm surge past Mystics for WNBA title
Cassandra Gardner | 14 September, 2018, 04:09

The Seattle Storm claimed their third WNBA title on Wednesday night, defeating the Washington Mystics, 98-82, to complete a three-game sweep in the best-of-five series.

"She's victor, what else can I say", Auriemma said, smiling broadly as Breanna Stewart strolled around EagleBank Arena after the Storm's 98-82 win clutching the WNBA trophy in one hand and the Finals MVP award in the other.

Elena Delle Donne scored 23 points, and Kristi Toliver had 22 for the Mystics, who were appearing in the WNBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.

"It doesn't feel real yet, honestly", WNBA Finals MVP Breanna Stewart said after the game.

They know the road back to the Finals is tough, and the WNBA gets better every year, but the Mystics are in a position to stay atop the league now that the franchise's most successful season to date is in the books. They're on the verge of becoming the sixth franchise in league history to win at least three championships. The team, which formed in 1998, had been to the semifinals twice before this season, losing to NY in 2002 and to the eventual champion Minnesota Lynx in 2017.

Stewart was named the Finals Most Valuable Player to go with her regular season MVP award.

She helped the Storm spark an early run off of extra shot opportunities and offensive rebounds and careless Mystics turnovers also helped Seattle early on.

Natasha Howard added 29 points and 14 rebounds.

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In front of the sold-out George Mason EagleBank Arena of 9,164 souls and not Capital One Arena because of a previously scheduled Drake concert, things got off to a great start for the "home" team. She scored 17 points in the first half as the Storm raced to a 47-30 lead.

As did numerous players who represent those teams, such as Seahawks stars Earl Thomas, Russell Wilson and Frank Clark.

"Each (championship) is special in its own way, but this one is probably going to have a different meaning for me", said the 37-year-old point guard who had 10 points and 10 assists.

Stewart will go for a second World Cup gold later this month with the United States senior national team. I didn't know if I'd be back to the finals ever again.

"I think that series, looking back on Phoenix, it's something that we really learned from", Stewart said. Seattle's other title came in 2004.

"We understand that we have to take care of the ball", Bird said. "When you're on the other side of it, you try to slow her down and obviously, we didn't get that done". "And to do it with this group, the way we did it, I don't even know how to react to be honest".

"We'd like to have taken that one last step, but the window for us is open right now", coach Mike Thibault said.

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