Bird, Stewart drive Storm in sweep to WNBA title

Washington Mystics’ Natasha Cloud moves past the Storm’s Sue Bird and toward the basket in the first half of Game 2 of the WNBA Finals in Seattle on Sunday

Washington Mystics’ Natasha Cloud moves past the Storm’s Sue Bird and toward the basket in the first half of Game 2 of the WNBA Finals in Seattle on Sunday

The Storm, which the had the best-record in the regular season at 26-8 and the No. 1 playoff seed, was too quick, too efficient on the perimeter offensively and just too good for No. 3 Washington.

The sellout crowd of 9,164 at EagleBank Arena screamed: "De-fense, De-fense", one last rally cry for a Washington Mystics facing elimination for the fourth time this season.

"Honestly, we've been that way all season", said Natasha Howard, who proved to be perhaps the missing piece in the Storm's championship puzzle.

Diana Taurasi, Mercury: The WNBA's all-time points leader tied for third in the league in scoring with 20.7 points per game, her highest average since 2011.

It was close at the start of the second quarter, and then it wasn't after Stewart took over and scored nine points in the period.

The best season in Mystics franchise history ended in heartbreak. Bird hopes that the elevated stakes Wednesday can motivate the Storm to avoid any complacency they might've experienced in Phoenix. "If I'm exhausted, she can guard [Elena] Delle Donne, and if she's exhausted, I can do it". "I felt more and more uncomfortable as we kept going". And her experience with the Fever and the Lynx in previous WNBA Finals showed in how well she played throughout this year for the Storm. Kristi Toliver had 22 points. They cut the lead down to eight points in less than two minutes, which forced a Storm timeout and time to regroup.

"Our team went through a rebuild, and yes, I chose to stay, and once we got Jewell and Stewie, we knew we would get on the other side, but how do you know you're going to get on the other side this fast".


Sue Bird, also a member of a Seattle's championship teams in 2004 and 2010, had 10 points and 10 assists. "Defensively, they had a better identity this year". In Game 2, the Storm had 15 giveaways, their highest total in the playoffs. "Even when she broke her nose she just never gave up", said Andrews.

It didn't dim their view of how well 2018 went up until the final round.

"We understand that we have to take care of the ball".

Elena Delle Donne scored 23 points for the Mystics. "I think everybody knows". The love Seattle is showing them undoubtedly will make them hungry for more.

Aside from a narrow 75-73 win in Game 2, the Storm thoroughly dominated Washington in a lopsided series that began with a blowout 89-76 win in Game 1.

What's absent, however, was not on the minds of Mystics players in wake of their defeat. "She had goals, specific goals, and yeah, she had some individual ones, but I think she knew those individual goals, winning MVP, being dominant, or as dominant as possible, that was going to impact the team positively and probably lead us to where we are now". "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".

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