New Opal claims WNBA title with Seattle

Breanna Stewart shoots over Elena Delle Donne during game one of the WNBA Finals as the Seattle Storm take on the Washington Mystics Friday

The Storm were lead by 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart, who averaged 20.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

In July Bird said that she believed Stewart opening up about her past had a connection to the maturity she's seen in Stewart this year, also noting that on the court she seemed more confident and driven. "Obviously this isn't how we wanted it to end, but it's an experience we can grow from". "What she did this year was ahead of schedule for us".

She cited now knowing Toliver's favorite beer, getting to know the families and pets of her teammates, playing games like 'would you rather?' while waiting in airports. "I think anyone in coaching, we always think there is a little more we can do". Even though it hadn't been in the WNBA yet, she clearly knows what it takes, and sometimes it just takes a couple of years to really figure out yourself in this league because it's a very tough league to play in, and now here she is. Their two captains, Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver, were the primary catalysts from the oft-mediocre franchise going from bad to good to great. "We won this thing".

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. "Now I can go to the bar, order her everything she needs".

Alysha Clark had 15 points for Seattle.

Seattle swept the best-of-five series, 3-0. They forgot about their past, which included seven straight playoffs losses on the road and focused entirely on Game 3. The now WNBA champions won the battle of the boards, 39-28, and shot a ridiculous 13-for-26 from beyond the arc. The Mystics joined that unwanted club. The Storm outshot the Mystics in all three games.

Despite the misfires, Washington rallied from down 18 points to trailing 72-67 with 6:49 remaining.

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Bird is now celebrating her third championship with the Storm. In the end, the Storm, who dominated the regular season, proved to be the league's best team.

Stewart had stewed during her first two Storm seasons, unwilling to accept mediocrity after such a storied collegiate and Olympic career. "I feel like we've got a lot of young, great talent".

To his detriment, Mystics coach Mike Thibault never found a way to slow down Stewart, who connected on 11 of 22 shots, including 4 of 5 three-pointers in a devastating series-clinching performance.

The legendary University of CT women's basketball coach sat next to his long-time assistant Chris Daley watching the most decorated player they'd ever coach do what she always does - dominate and win.

"Each (championship) is special in its own way, but this one is probably going to have a different meaning for me", the 37-year-old veteran point guard said.

"I'm sure he's going to say we're not invited anyway. That's what really separated us again".

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