ibusinesslines.com October 15, 2018

Stewart, Storm surge past Mystics for third WNBA title

13 September 2018, 11:27 | Charlene Valdez

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

"It didn't feel like my first WNBA finals closeout game", the poised Stewart said.

Toliver, seated next to the first-team All-WNBA player, chimed in.

Stewart was not sure what her plans were for Thursday, but said she had a role model to watch. Seattle obliterated Washington and became the sixth team to sweep the Finals in three games. "We have to think big-picture". Previous year we were brand new. Our team went through a rebuild and yes, I made a decision to stay. I've been having a hard time putting it all into words. "And our team took a look at that and said, 'Hell no'".

Natasha Howard added career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Storm and first-year coach Dan Hughes. During that 10-minute frame, the home team shot just 26.3 percent (5-for-19) from the field to only manage 14 points in the quarter. She was carried to the locker room and did not return.

"I think that series, looking back on Phoenix, it's something that we really learned from", Stewart said.

Hayes averaged career highs of 17.2 points and 2.7 assists to lead Atlanta to the league's second-best record and a berth in the playoff semifinals where the Dream fell in five games to the Mystics. However, she was scoreless in the fourth quarter.

WNBAElena Delle Donne boxes out Breanna Stewart. I'm a very left-footed player. And for Stewart, the second of those No.1 picks, there was one person above all others that she wanted to share the moment with. 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. "And to do it with this group, the way we did it, I don't even know how to react to be honest". "But our perimeter shooting allowed us to create some separation and then we managed the game pretty well".

Out of all of the insane moments in the Storm's series against the Mercury - arguably the most intense five games of the entire playoffs - Bird's Game 5 takeover will likely be the most memorable. We went through a rebuild a couple of years ago, and who's to say we'd get here this quickly. "Where we were picked and where we ended up, they should be excited about, and they should be excited about the future". We have only played together with this core group basically for two years, and we have some reinforcements coming next year.

As much as the team may be disappointed with not winning a championship right now, the Mystics did have a successful season.

"I mean, it was different", Delle Donne acknowledged.

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

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