Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm Win 2018 WNBA Championship

Isaiah Thomas. Courtesy The Player's Tribune

Isaiah Thomas. Courtesy The Player's Tribune

The Storm were 27-3 this season when leading after the third quarter heading into the game. "It was how we countered that when things got close".

Washington reached the Finals for the first time in franchise history.

"They clearly were the best team from start to finish, in my opinion", Thibault said.

She joins fellow former Huskies Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Swin Cash, Asjha Jones, and Kara Wolters on that list of 11 NCAA, WNBA, Olympic and FBIA champs. They also passed on Victoria Vivians and Kia Nurse in the draft and put their faith in rookie guard Ariel Atkins. Despite the sting of their season ending earlier than they hoped, they smiled as they recalled the journey to that point and the road ahead.

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.

In her fourth year in the league, Loyd is becoming increasingly strong. In addition to setting the franchise single-season record for points (742) and field goals (270), Stewart broke her own single-season franchise record for 20-plus point games, boasting 22 on the year.

STAR POWER: The matchup between Delle Donne and Stewart highlights the series.

"It's incredible to be sitting here right now", the 17-year veteran said (via the Seattle Times).

What Stewart has done the seven years since is no surprise to her.

"We've come a long way", he said. At least until she suffered a knee injury in Game 2 of the semifinals against Atlanta. A year ago we were brand new. Both Seattle teams were coached by Lenny Wilkens, a regular at Storm games.

Washington trailed 47-30 at halftime, its fewest in any half this postseason. Once she found her rhythm, she got her other teammates involved.

Despite the misfires, Washington rallied from down 18 points to trailing 72-67 with 6:49 remaining. Many of them reserved special praise for Breanna Stewart, the WNBA and WNBA Finals MVP.

"We know how great the teams are and how much better we have to be", said Delle Donne, who finished with 23 points.

"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".

The Mystics know they have room to improve. Meesseman will return to the Mystics' roster, deepening an already formidable bench. Delle Donne just turned 29, Natasha Cloud is 26 and Meesseman is 25.

"It was a successful [season]", Toliver said. "They're behind us. They're proud of us".

It's only fitting she closed out the season with a double-double.

What's absent, however, was not on the minds of Mystics players in wake of their defeat.

"I gotta say, as exciting as it is to have the Storm making playoff noise - I'm anxious that everyone's not on the same page". I'm a very left-footed player. "Now I can go to the bar, order her everything she needs". "Now I can go to the bar and order her everything she needs". So for me to be here now, not that I didn't enjoy the other ones, but I'm just truly enjoying this right now.

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