Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Seattle Storm wins third WNBA title

Seattle Storm wins third WNBA title

The Storm did it in style, completing a three-game sweep of the Washington Mystics on Wednesday with a 98-82 win in Fairfax, Virginia.

Celebrate Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart and all of Seattle with this licensed championship t-shirt.

James, of course, knows how it is to be on the other end of a championship loss and wanted to recognize the Mystics for their season.

Mystics star and former league MVP Elena Delle Donne led Washington with 23 points, shooting 9-of-18 from the field.

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

These playoffs will be remembered for Sue Bird's masked heroics in the fourth quarter.

"When you talk about being a coach on the floor, she's it", said first-year Storm coach Dan Hughes who admits to sharing authority in the locker room and during timeouts with Bird. "When you're on the other side of it, you try to slow her down and obviously, we didn't get that done". Case in point: can you imagine planned construction on Capital One Arena during either the National Basketball Association or NHL postseason, forcing the Wizards or Caps to play elsewhere? "We went through that and now I think we'll handle it much better". Hughes has had a storied career coaching in the WNBA, but has never won a title.

Kristi Toliver and Elena Delle Donne sit on the bench during the final seconds of Game 3 while the Seattle Storm become WNBA champions
Kristi Toliver and Elena Delle Donne sit on the bench during the final seconds of Game 3 while the Seattle Storm become WNBA champions

Following Game 3, Stewart was named the victor of the WNBA Finals MVP award, averaging 25.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game over the series.

"We understand that the difference here is we have a chance to win a championship and not just advance to the next round", Bird said. Elena Delle Donne is ready for another offensive clinic, Toliver will hit shots and Atkins will do what Atkins does, which is everything. "To do it with this group, the way we did it, I don't even know how to react". She made both of her shot attempts, took six free throws, grabbed two rebounds and had two steals in the fourth quarter alone, when Seattle outscored Washington 17-12. Seattle led the league by scoring 31.1 percent of their points from beyond the arc, with Washington next at 29.8 percent. We knew what to do and how to get better. Everyone has to have an "I love you off the court, but I'm going to kill you on the court" type of mentality.

But the history of teams that have faced a 2-0 deficit since the league went to a best-of-five format in 2005 doesn't paint an optimistic picture for the Mystics.

"We feel really good, we feel really positive".

There's still a lot for Washington to overcome when it returns home for Game 3 on Wednesday night.

For years, Bird has sidestepped talk about when she'll put an end to a Hall-of-Fame bound career that includes two NCAA titles at CT, four Olympic gold medals, three FIBA world championships and four EuroLeague championships.

In July Bird said that she believed Stewart opening up about her past had a connection to the maturity she's seen in Stewart this year, also noting that on the court she seemed more confident and driven.

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