Monday, 19 November, 2018


Stewart reinforces elite status with WNBA title

Seattle's Sue Bird passes in front of the Mystics Elena Delle Donne in the second half of Game 2 Seattle's Sue Bird passes in front of the Mystics Elena Delle Donne in the second half of Game 2
Noah Ferguson | 13 September, 2018, 23:29

Howard had a career-high 29 points, plus 14 rebounds, in the Seattle Storm's 98-82 victory over the Washington Mystics in Game 3 on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, league MVP Breanna Stewart has been almost unstoppable, averaging 23.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals in the first two games.

The Storm rolled to a 16-point lead after the first half behind dominant performances from Stewart and center Natasha Howard.

She had 10 assists and 10 points in Seattle's championship-clinching win against Washington on Wednesday.

Bird last won a title with the Storm in 2010 and then faced a long few rebuilding years.

The Mystics got out to a 4-0 lead with Kristi Toliver and Elena Delle Donne knocking down jump shots, while the Storm had back-to-back turnovers.

The location, George Mason University, marked the third arena Washington has called home this season and the second in the playoffs. But Sanders injured her ankle on the play and had to be carried to the locker room by two Washington staff members, done for the night.

Both teams rely heavily on the 3-point shot.

"I think this was our year", Hughes said.

"We had a great season", Delle Donne made clear.

The Storm got their first taste of life without Bird in the semifinals when she broke her nose and had to sit out the remainder of Game 4 against Phoenix. Seattle's other title came in 2004. It's been a year of vulnerability and strength for the young star, and as she stood on the court clutching her trophy all she could do was smile and shrug.

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

"You're only going to impact [Delle Donne and Toliver] to a degree", Hughes said.

"Obviously, this finals didn't go the way we wanted it".

The players, meanwhile, saved what they had to say for Thursday's season-ending exit meeting. "I, unfortunately, wasn't able to practice a lot in the moments that we had off, so I was kind of trying to figure out my go-to moves as games were going on and just trying to get comfortable finding different ways". She also earned her 13th selection to the All-WNBA First Team or Second Team, passing Tamika Catchings and Lisa Leslie (12 each) for the most in league history. "Best feeling in the world". Past year we were brand new.

ED: "To get her - trust me, I know, I've got you, Panda". "Those are huge. Those are huge because not only is she going to score, she's going to distribute well".

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.

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