Seattle Storm sweep Mystics to win third WNBA championship; Breanna Stewart named Finals MVP

Photo Credit -- Rob Carr/Getty Images

For the Seattle Storm, good things came in threes.

All it took were three games for the Storm to win its third championship in franchise history after a 98-82 victory over the Washington Mystics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

It was somewhat ironic that the Game 3 took place at an arena that also drapes itself in the green and gold colors. The Storm’s mentality was to make it feel like home and end the series on the road.

The heart and soul of the Storm’s success over the years has, unquestionably been Sue Bird. It is her third title and had a number of signature performances in these playoffs, including Game 5 of the semifinals against the Phoenix Mercury, where her 14 points in the fourth quarter willed Seattle to the WNBA Finals.

A Seattle sports Mount Rushmore without Bird simply cannot be a legitimate Seattle sports Mount Rushmore. Three championships are three championships. Bird finished with 10 points and 10 assists.

While it is the third title for Bird, it is the first for Breanna Stewart, who knows a lot about winning basketball coming from UConn and having won at virtually every level she has played at.
Along with her first championship, she also was named MVP for the Finals on the heels of being named regular season MVP.

Stewart scored 30 points to lead all scorers.

Along with her 30, Natasha Howard was a major factor in Seattle closing it out. She scored 29 points and also pulled down 14 rebounds. Howard was a force on both ends of the floor, providing energy on both offense and defense for the Storm.

So much attention is given to the Storm’s Big 3, but one cannot ignore the outings of both Howard and Alysha Clark, who scored 15 points and also pulled in nine rebounds in over 38 minutes of play.

The championship also legitimized the move on the part of Seattle Storm brass to hire Dan Hughes as head coach. In his first season, the Storm have won a championship and its Big 3 was expected to be the nucleus of – possibly – the W’s next dynasty. That is yet to be seen, but Seattle has the potential to be title contenders for a while.

Of course, there are two sides to an elimination game in the Finals. The Washington Mystics had hoped to force a Game 4 back at Fairfax, but it was not to be. Elena Delle Donne (23) and Kristi Toliver (22) scored 45 of the Mystics’ 82 points – more than half.

That Game 4 could have potentially caused scheduling issues for the WNBA. It was slated for Friday, but it may have been uncertain due to the arrival of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas and Virginia.

The WNBA will not have to worry about a Game 4, since the Storm have closed out the series in three and are the 2018 champions.

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