Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

WNBA Finals: Storm sweep Mystics to win third title

WNBA Finals: Storm sweep Mystics to win third title

This was total domination. For a game featuring teams from Seattle and Washington D.C., Hartford-New Haven had the second highest viewership for markets watching the championship behind only Seattle-Tacoma, according to ESPN.

Stewart was a unanimous choice to the all-WNBA first team, the league announced Wednesday, while fellow UConn graduate Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury extended her own record with a 10th first-team selection.

Sue Bird, also a member of a Seattle's championship teams in 2004 and 2010, had 10 points and 10 assists.

"The talent has definitely improved", said Monique Currie, a 13-year veteran. She detailed little moments along the way of their 2018 season, the things she said she will miss most this fall and winter when everyone goes their separate ways.

League MVP Breanna Stewart top-scored for the Storm with 30 points to earn the nod as the Finals' best player after averaging 25.6 points across the three games.

"Before the year, nobody picked us to win a title and I'm not sure if we were even thinking about that", said Alysha Clark, who finished with 15 points and nine rebounds. "Once we got Stewie and Jewell, we knew we'd get to the other side, but how do you know you're going to get to the other side this fast?"

"It doesn't feel real yet, honestly", she said. So it's incredible to be sitting here right now, I was just saying this earlier, I really believe it just came to me.

Aside from a narrow 75-73 win in Game 2, the Storm thoroughly dominated Washington in a lopsided series that began with a blowout 89-76 win in Game 1.

The Storm stayed true to their mantra to never look back and always focus on the next game. Each lost Game 3.

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Delle Donne, who came to Washington in a February 2017 trade, and Toliver, who left the L.A. Sparks to sign a free agent deal just days later, took the podium together following Game 3.

Forward Natasha Howard added a career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Storm.

"It means I'm still under contract", she said smiling.

But they wanted to do it for her - their 37-year-old leader who is the heart and soul of the franchise. The club's first-ever trip to the WNBA Finals is even more impressive considering how much better the league is in 2018. I wasn't nervous. I was calm. We showed a lot of character, a lot of resiliency.

"Stewie was just fantastic", Storm coach Dan Hughes said. "Probably a combination of both".

Seattle led 69-53 at the start of the fourth when Washington made one last push.

After trailing 69-53 entering the fourth quarter, the Mystics rallied to within five points at 72-67 on a 3-pointer by Tierra Ruffin-Pratt with 6:49 remaining.

The location, George Mason University, marked the third arena Washington has called home this season and the second in the playoffs. The championship parade is set for 1 p.m. Sunday.

"They definitely supported us during the season.to see the turnout at the playoffs, it was huge for us", Bird said. "We were champions again".

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