Storm, Mystics look to enjoy experience of WNBA Finals

Storm, Mystics look to enjoy experience of WNBA Finals

Storm, Mystics look to enjoy experience of WNBA Finals

But Stewart was fouled by Delle Donne while making a jump shot from the free-throw line on the next possession and converted the three-point play, sparking an 8-0 run to put Seattle back in control.

In the past year Stewart has spoken up about her assault, posed for ESPN's Body Issue (as did Bird) and won both the league and finals MVP trophies. It was another six years before she was back in the finals winning another title.

Sep 12, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart (30) looks on from the court against the Washington Mystics during the second quarter in game three of the WNBA Finals at Eagle Bank Arena.

Seattle withstood a fourth-quarter comeback attempt for a 98-82 victory and a three-game series sweep. After going up 2-0 against Phoenix, Seattle needed five games to close out a feisty Mercury squad.

Now in its 22 season, the league continues its struggle for mainstream support.

As if to drive the point home, that the Mystics' wander through the postseason desert had reached its nadir, Sue Bird poked her head out from the locker room after morning shoot-around in her green and yellow warmups, perfectly matching the paint and seats of Eagle Bank Arena.

The next wave of WNBA stars will be led by Stewart a product of a UConn Huskies machine that brings a culture of leadership, teamwork, talent, championship pedigree and visibility to the WNBA game.

The message to Stewart was clear: At age 24, don't take for granted that she's leading the Seattle Storm to the WNBA Finals and expect it to happen all the time. In Game 5 of the semifinals she had 28 points.

Despite losing in their first Finals appearance in the team's 21-year history, Thibault and the Mystics know that the 9,000-plus fans who traveled 20 miles outside of Washington, D.C., and piled into Eagle Bank Arena know their team, for the first time in nearly a decade, has a bright future. I knew she was that elite level player and more importantly that elite level competitor that wanted to be the best.

Players such as point guard Natasha Cloud, who ascended to become the team's starting point guard, and Tianna Hawkins, who lost 20 pounds before the start of the season so she could play more effectively off the bench, give Sanders confidence.

Elena Delle Donne, Tiffany Hayes, and Diana Taurasi rounded out the First Team. The Mystics were 8 for 23 in Game 3 and 11 for 60 (18.3 percent) in the series. "This didn't feel like my first trip to the Finals".

"I'm sure he's going to say we're not invited anyway". A reliable scorer and rebounder to pair down low with Delle Donne, Meesseman was an All-Star in 2015 at just 22 years old. She detailed little moments along the way of their 2018 season, the things she said she will miss most this fall and winter when everyone goes their separate ways.

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