The Storm took the WNBA title Wednesday night with a 98-82 victory over the Washington Mystics. They were not satisfied with just being there and wanted to win a championship, but they were simply overpowered by the Seattle Storm throughout the series.
Washington used a late-season push to set up its run to the finals, winning eight of its last nine regular season games to move up to the No. 3 playoff seed with a 22-12 record. The 6-4 forward averaged a career-best 21.8 points per game, ranking second in the league, to go along with 8.4 boards per affair. The Storm outshot the Mystics in all three games. Things did not go well for Washington the rest of the way. In the first of those Finals trips, the Sun lost to Seattle. In hopes of lighting a fire under his team, head coach Mike Thibault verbally assaulted an official before heading to the locker room for intermission, which earned him a technical foul. Unfortunately, that boost wound up lasting shorter than expected when LaToya Sanders injured her ankle chasing a loose ball early in the third quarter. Stewart, the MVP, and Loyd carried the scoring for much of the season, combining for almost 40 points per game.
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.
Sixteen-year veteran Sue Bird led the Storm with a career-best 7.1 assists per game this season, while fourth-year guard Jewell Loyd finished second on the team in scoring with 15.5 points per affair.
The next wave of WNBA stars will be led by Stewart a product of a UConn Huskies machine that brings a culture of leadership, teamwork, talent, championship pedigree and visibility to the WNBA game.
"I gotta say, as exciting as it is to have the Storm making playoff noise - I'm anxious that everyone's not on the same page".
The Mystics showed this year they can put it all together. "And all you can really give her is your best at practice and (in games)". I was able to get to the free-throw line. "But this is a very special moment that I'm a part of this special group, and I think I'm just realizing how special they really were. I felt more and more uncomfortable as we kept going".More news: 'Monster' Hurricane Florence Barrels Toward the Carolinas
And Howard was too much for the Mystics inside.
"I'm super proud of this team". We're still new. We're still getting to learn one another. The Mystics made the mistakes a young team makes, especially on the interior. "And we just continued to play for each other". "But we got better throughout the year".
"We had a great season", Delle Donne made clear. "I mean, we're the champs".
"It was a successful [season]", Toliver said. "All year you could just see the escalation".
If this were the National Basketball Association, the Washington Mystics' front office might be making calls to players of Paul George's or Kawhi Leonard's caliber right now.
"I told somebody, I'm built for this and I mean that", said Stewart, who won four NCAA titles at the University of CT.