Seattle Storm wins third WNBA title


The Seattle Storm clinched their third WNBA championship with a 98-82 win over the Washington Mystics in Fairfax, Virginia Wednesday night.

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.

Elena Delle Donne, their 2016 Olympic teammate, scored 23 points for the Mystics.

Whitcomb was again a factor off the bench with six points, and Jewell Loyd, despite an off-shooting night (2-for-11, 0-for-3 on threes) still found a way to contribute with six assists and four rebounds.

Bird returned from a broken nose suffered 48 hours earlier for masked heroics, in which she took over in the clutch while scoring 14 of her 22 points in the fourth quarter of a decisive Game 5 win in the semis.

Natasha Howard added career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Storm. "They've just said, 'OK, whatever you put in front of us, we'll deal with it'".

What was billed as a battle between two of the league's most lethal three-point shooting teams turned into a one-sided display for the Storm. "I'm just so thankful that we were both playing in Russian Federation at the time and that we just met because we connected instantly, and that's been my person that I go to about everything in my life". The club's first-ever trip to the WNBA Finals is even more impressive considering how much better the league is in 2018.

Breanna Stewart led the Storm with 30 points and 8 rebounds in Game 3 of the best-of-5 series.

"We don't feel like we peaked and this is it for us", Delle Donne said. "So we ran into each other in the lounge, and obviously we knew each other before that, but not that well".

Meanwhile, the Mystics couldn't figure out how to find Elena Delle Donne.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt sank a 3-pointer with 6:49 left to cut Seattle's 16-point lead at the start of the fourth to five (72-67) and inject a little suspense in a game the Storm controlled for three quarters.

For Bird, the season was proof that she made the right decision a few years back when her contract was nearing its end.

Stewart was unanimously selected to the All-WNBA First Team on Wednesday, the league announced at halftime of the game, the only player in the WNBA to be named on all 39 ballots. I get that. But I can't help but hear something else, too: "They're forgetting about the Storm". A lot of times when I invite people out and they come to a game, they fall in love with the game. That got us before.

"Whenever you go up 2-0, you understand that teams are going to be desperate", said Bird, who has won two WNBA championships, including in 2010 when Seattle swept Atlanta.

The 24-year-old forward is the sixth player to win both MVP awards in the same season joining Cynthia Cooper (who did it twice), Lisa Leslie, Diana Taurasi, Sylvia Fowles and former Storm star Lauren Jackson.

One by one, Storm players paid tribute and gave testimonials to their living legend Bird, thanking her for being an inspiration to accomplish their greatest achievement.