Storm sweep Mystics, win third WNBA title

Kristi Toliver and Elena Delle Donne sit on the bench during the final seconds of Game 3

She's overcome a knee injury that forced her to sit out the 2013 season and survived a four-year roster reconstruction that resulted in two years of missing the postseason followed by a pair of first-round playoff exits.

The Seattle Storm hold a commanding 2-0 lead in the five-game series, so it's do or die for the Washington Mystics in game three of the WNBA Finals Wednesday night.

In addition to Stewie's impressive stats, forward Natasha Howard hit a career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds. Seattle won 26 games during the regular season - 11 more than the 2017 campaign - entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed, and swept the finals.

Seattle may have lost its SuperSonics over a decade ago but the city has now earned itself a championship courtesy of the WNBA's Storm.

"Stewie was just wonderful", Storm coach Dan Hughes said.

Skylar Diggins-Smith, Wings: Now a three-time All-WNBA honoree, she averaged a career-high 6.2 assists (third in the WNBA) to go with 17.9 points while playing a league-high 34.1 minutes per game. Her running mate for Seattle's first two titles was Lauren Jackson. It was really imperative that Jewell [Loyd] kind of become part of our flow, and I thought she did a great, great job of giving us that flow at that point.

Bird, also a member of a Seattle's championship teams in 2004 and 2010, was certainly appreciative of the title - and the growth of the Storm's younger players.

And now it is Bird and Stewart and Loyd and Howard and more, a new championship cast is Seattle.

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

"There is probably no comparison to be honest".

The Mystics, on the other hand, didn't have a single player score in double figures, and only had two points off the bench. Our team went through a rebuild and yes, I made a decision to stay. "You knew that this was game two and they were going to come out like a better D.C. team than we saw in game one".

The coach sensed something brewing early in his first year with the franchise.

Ok, maybe not to that extreme, but I do think shots will fall. "All year you could just see the escalation".

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. "So we ran into each other in the lounge, and obviously we knew each other before that, but not that well. This is a great arena, could be electric in here if we fill it up".

"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. The Mystics were relegated to Smith Center on the campus of George Washington for their home Semifinals games, but scheduling issues there pushed Wednesday night's WNBA Finals game all the way out to Fairfax.

"There's been a huge transformation with the culture of this team", said Delle Donne, who was acquired by Washington before the 2017 season. While players haven't been shy about standing up for themselves, they've gotten some help from their National Basketball Association counterparts this year, which is enormous given the men's game's meteoric rise both at home and overseas over the last half decade. I didn't know (Toliver's' favorite) beer.


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