Monday, 22 July, 2019

Stewart, Storm surge past Mystics for WNBA title

Breanna Stewart shoots over Elena Delle Donne during game one of the WNBA Finals as the Seattle Storm take on the Washington Mystics Friday Sami Whitcomb’s Seattle Storm win the WNBA title
Cary Erickson | 13 September, 2018, 22:13

The "rule of three" is poetic and tidy, but it doesn't always apply.

The league's regular-season MVP scored a game-high 30 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Seattle Storm defeated the host Washington Mystics 98-82 Wednesday night to clinch the WNBA championship.

Still, Mystics guard Natasha Cloud described her team's situation as "David and Goliath", as no team in WNBA history has come back to win the championship after trailing 2-0 in the Finals.

"It didn't feel like my first WNBA finals closeout game", the poised Stewart said.

The Storm finished the period ahead 20-16 because they were 4 of 9 on 3-pointers while Washington was 2 of 5. Howard is the third player to win back-to-back WNBA titles with different teams. Our team went through a rebuild and yes, I chose to stay. "It was putting us seventh or eighth, I can't remember".

"Sometimes teams focus so much on Stewie and that allows Tosh to take advantage", Clark said.

Stewart scored 17 points to help Seattle take a 47-30 halftime lead. Washington went on a 16-3 run to again close their deficit to just five points as Tierra Ruffin-Pratt had eight points in six second-half minutes.

Howard said she learned a lot as a bench player, but she was ready for a bigger role.

"I think that series, looking back on Phoenix, it's something that we really learned from", Stewart said. "Those are huge. Those are huge because not only is she going to score, she's going to distribute well".

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It got out of hand before long.

The Storm shot 50 percent from both the field (36 of 72) and from 3-point range (13 of 26).

Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver led the way for the Mystics in the loss, scoring 23 and 22 points, respectively.

Delle Donne was also named to the All-WNBA First Team on Wednesday. Players were selected by position and received five points for each First Team vote and three points for each Second Team vote.

Overlooked for years, Whitcomb's path to the WNBA started when she moved to Australia to play for Rockingham in 2013. Washington refused to use her bone bruise as an excuse, but with the season over, the star forward expounded on her limitations.

"This is probably going to be one of the defining moments of my career to have played however many years I've been playing, to have won in all these places, but then to do it at the end in such a way that was different from all the others, it's really incredible". Now I can go to the bar and order her everything she needs. 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. "To see them here now is not surprising at all, and we definitely appreciate it".

The players, meanwhile, saved what they had to say for Thursday's season-ending exit meeting.

Seattle coach Dan Hughe praised the Mystics in his opening statement to reporters. "I think that what we did as a team for these past four months, we had a goal and that was to win a championship". "You watch (Delle Donne and Toliver)".