Seattle Storm wins third WNBA title

Heather Diaz
September 14, 2018

A host of basketball and Seattle sports stars hailed the Storm on Wednesday night following their championship-clinching win over the Washington Mystics in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals.

Natasha Howard added career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Storm and first-year coach Dan Hughes.

Geno Auriemma wasn't sure he'd be able to attend Game 3 of the WNBA Finals on Wednesday, but there he was in the EagleBank Arena stands. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four an unprecedented four times. She won four national championships with the Huskies, Olympic gold in 2016, and world championship gold in 2014 - all on teams coached by Geno Auriemma. Bird, the oldest player in the league, ranked second in assists, guiding the team's young superstars the whole way. The team, which formed in 1998, had been to the semifinals twice before this season, losing to NY in 2002 and to the eventual champion Minnesota Lynx in 2017.

But the Storm have yet to win on the road in the playoffs, despite posting the best road record in the regular season.

Seattle overcame an early deficit to lead 20-16 after the first quarter. "It's a shame we couldn't give them one more home game but I feel good about this team going forward and we're a full year ahead of schedule", Coach Thibault said proudly.

The location, George Mason University, marked the third arena Washington has called home this season and the second in the playoffs. They combined for 59 points and 22 rebounds, helping the Storm establish a big lead and coast to a 98-82 win.

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"Sometimes teams focus so much on Stewie and that allows Tosh to take advantage", Clark said.

After scoring 10 points of 4-for-11 shooting in Game 1, Delle Donne - who suffered a bone bruise in her left knee in the semifinals - scored 17 points on 7 of-16 shooting in Game 2 while switching from a brace to a sleeve.

With a veteran point guard in Bird and the MVP in Stewart, there was no panic from the Storm.

"Way at the beginning, I said at the start, I was exhausted of losing", said Stewart, the Finals and league MVP.

"On the court, off the court, honestly, Sue is at the center of why we're here, again, " the Storm's president and general manager, Alisha Valavanis, told ESPN's Holly Rowe as the Storm received a new trophy to add to the bulging case.

"We can really create something here, and I think we've really grown this fan base", said Delle Donne. "But we got better throughout the year. Sue told us in the huddle that it wasn't going to be easy basically, and it was just how we reacted, how we countered that, and we knew - we got to this point for a reason, also, and it was Game 3 of the Finals, and we were going home with a championship".

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